How to spot fake emails like the "Email Storage Warning Message" phishing email

Also Known As: Email Storage Warning Message phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "Email Storage Warning Message"?

After analyzing this email, we concluded that it is a phishing email used to trick recipients into providing personal information. It masquerades as a warning message from the email service provider. This email contains a link designed to open a deceptive page.

Email Storage Warning Message email scam

More about the "Email Storage Warning Message" phishing email

This letter claims that recipients are out of email storage space and will soon be unable to send or receive emails until they free up space or purchase additional storage. It instructs recipients to click the provided button to "increase size". Clicking that button opens a fake sign-in page.

That deceptive page asks visitors to confirm their identity/view the document by signing in with the email ID (email address) and password. This page is used to steal login credentials. Scammers can hijack/steal accounts that can be accessed with the entered login credentials.

More damage can be done if stolen login credentials can be used to access more than one account. Depending on the types of stolen accounts, they could be used to make fraudulent purchases and transactions, steal identities, send spam and deliver malware, access sensitive information, and more.

Threat Summary:
Name Email Storage Warning Message Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Email account storage space is running out
Related Domain hartistree[.]com
Detection Names (hartistree[.]com) Avira (Phishing), Combo Cleaner (Malware), Emsisoft (Phishing), Kaspersky (Phishing), Webroot (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address
Disguise Letter from the email service provider
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)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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Similar scams in general

Scammers behind phishing emails aim to extract credit card details, ID card information, login credentials, or other sensitive information. They pretend to be legitimate companies, organizations, or other entities. Typically, their letters contain a link that opens a fake/deceptive page or ask to provide information directly via email.

Examples of similar emails are "Login Session Authentication Email Scam", "Webmail Manager Email Scam", and "Correos Email Scam". Threat actors can use email not only to send phishing letters but also to deliver malicious software.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Threat actors distribute malware via email by sending emails containing malicious files (attachments) or links. They aim to trick unsuspecting recipients into downloading and executing malware (opening malicious files). Examples of files that cybercriminals use to distribute malware are Microsoft Office, PDF documents, executable files, archive files like ZIP, RAR, ISO files, and JavaScript files.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not use P2P networks, free file hosting pages, unofficial websites, third-party downloaders, and similar sources to download files and programs. Download them from official pages and stores. Remember that attachments and links in irrelevant emails sent from unknown, suspicious addresses are very likely to be malicious.

Always keep the operating system and other software up to date. Update and activate installed programs with tools or functions provided by their official developers. 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 "Email Storage Warning Message" email letter:

Subject: RE:Email Storage Is Limited!!!

Email Storage Warning Message

Dear ********

You are out of storage space and will soon be unable to send or receive emails until you free up space or purchase additional storage

Note: Failure to do this you will not be able to send or receive email soon
Click ******** to increase size now

Mail System Administrator
This notification was sent to ********; Don't want occasional updates about subscription preferences and friendly suggestions?

Screenshot of the deceptive website:

email storage warning message email scam phishing website

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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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?

You are one of the many people who received this letter. Scammers sent this email to all addresses that they have in their database. Phishing emails (and similar scams) are not personal.

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

If you have provided your email address and password on a fake website, change your passwords as soon as possible. Especially if the provided password can be used to access multiple accounts.

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

If you have opened an archive file, MS Office document, PDF document, or similar file, then you may have avoided malware injection. Not all files can infect computers without taking additional steps (e.g., enabling macros commands in documents). However, if the file you have opened was executable (e.g., .bat, .com, or .exe), your computer is likely to be already infected.

I have read the email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

No, it is safe to open emails without clicking links or opening attachments within them.

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

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and remove almost all known malware. In most cases, high-end malware cannot be detected without running a full scan. Thus, it is important to choose this scanning option to remove malware of this kind.

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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.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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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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