How to spot fake emails like the Correos phishing email

Also Known As: Correos phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What is Correos email scam?

After examining this email, we found that the scammers behind it pretend to be a state-owned company that provides postal service in Spain. The email is written in Spanish. Scammers use it to trick recipients into opening a fake Correos website and providing sensitive information. The email is written in Spanish.

Correos email scam

More about the Correos email scam

This email states that the parcel (it includes a fake parcel number) is in transit. It claims that the parcel has been declared at customs, and it is required to pay a €1.99 declaration tax via the provided website link. Clicking the "enviar mi pedido" (which means "send my order") hyperlink opens a fake Correos website.

That fake website claims that the package has been blocked due to non-payment of additional stamps. It seems that the scammers behind this email are trying to trick recipients into providing their Correos account login credentials (email address and password). It is important to mention that scammers may also try to use the provided information to access other accounts.

Threat Summary:
Name Correos Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipients have to pay a €1.99 declaration fee
Disguise Letter from Correos (a legitimate state-owned company that provides postal service in Spain)
Related Domain receptionvaldeloire[.]com
Detection Names (receptionvaldeloire[.]com) Fortinet (Phishing), Google Safebrowsing (Phishing), Sophos (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Phishing emails in general

Typically, phishing emails contain links designed to open fake/deceptive websites. Scammers use such emails to extract login credentials, credit card details, ID card information, and other personal details. These emails are usually disguised as official/urgent/important letters from legitimate (existing) entities.

Examples of similar emails are "M&T Bank Email Scam", "Meeting Reminder Email Scam", and "Unicaja Banco Email Scam". Similar emails can be used not only to extract personal information but also to deliver malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Emails used to proliferate malicious software/malware contain malicious attachments or links. Usually, these emails are disguised as official letters from legitimate entities too. Threat actors use them to trick users into downloading and executing malware (malicious files).

Most cybercriminals attempt to trick users into opening malicious Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, archive files (like RAR, ZIP), executable files, ISO files, or JavaScript files.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not open links or attachments sent from suspicious and unknown addresses, especially when emails do not concern you. It is very common that opening files or links in such emails causes computer infections.

Always use legitimate tools that the official developers provide to update and activate the installed software (and operating system). Use official pages and direct links as sources for downloading files and programs.

If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the Correos email scam:

Subject: Nota: Llegada de su paquete ES/29FCGVI3845G

Notificación Correos

Estimada cliente,

Correos a su servicio, Su número de paquete ES/29FCGVI3845G está en tránsito. Dado que este paquete se declara en la aduana, lo invitamos a pagar los 1,99 € de aranceles e impuestos conectándonos a través del enlace a continuación lo antes posible. El código PIN a utilizar es: GZMV72

tarifas a pagar : 1,99 euro
fecha : 02/08/2022
enviar mi pedido

Este correo electrónico se genera automáticamente.

Si le preocupa la autenticidad de este mensaje, visite hxxps://www.correos.es/ServicioCliente para opciones sobre cómo contactarnos.

Screenshot of the fake Correos website:

correos email scam phishing website

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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

This email was probably sent to all addresses that scammers have in their database. Phishing emails usually are not personal. It is very likely that many recipients who received this email are not even speaking Spanish.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by this email, what should I do?

Change all passwords immediately if you have provided your Correos account username and password. In other cases (if the provided information contained personal information such as credit card details, ID card information, etc.), contact corresponding authorities as soon as possible.

I have downloaded and opened a malicious file attached to an email, is my computer infected?

It depends on the file type. Microsoft Office documents cannot harm computers (infect them with malware) until macros commands are enabled. However, executable files infect computers right after they are opened/executed.

I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?

No, emails cannot infect computers. It is harmless to open emails.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate almost all known malware. It is important to know that high-end malware can hide deep in the operating system. Therefore, computers infected with malware of this kind have to be scanned fully (using a full scan).

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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