What kind of email is "Due Payment-Invoice"?
Our inspection of the "Due Payment-Invoice" email revealed that it is spam operating as a phishing scam. This letter makes false claims regarding an invoice to view which - recipients have to provide their email account log-in credentials. It must be emphasized that this mail is fake, and it cannot be trusted.
"Due Payment-Invoice" email scam overview
The email with the subject "Approve Due payment Invoice sent At [date]" (may vary) requests the recipient to approve and sign the attached invoice. To view the "scanned PDF document", the recipient is to click the "Review Invoice" button.
After we pressed this button, it resulted in a redirect to a phishing website. This page stated that authentication is necessary to view the shared file - hence, the user must provide their email account log-in credentials (password).
As mentioned in the introduction, the "Due Payment-Invoice" email is fake, as is the site it promotes. Therefore, the data entered into this webpage will be disclosed to the scammers behind the spam campaign. Cyber criminals can variously misuse stolen emails since they are typically used to register other accounts, platforms, and services. Hence, access/control may be achieved to the content connected via a hijacked email account.
To expand on how the stolen content could be used, finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) may be used to perform unauthorized transactions or online purchases. Cyber criminals can use communication platforms (e.g., emails, social networking/media, messengers, etc.) to assume the owner's identity and ask their contacts for loans or spread malware by sharing malicious files/links.
In summary, by trusting a phishing email like "Due Payment-Invoice" - users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
If you have already disclosed your email account credentials - immediately change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support.
|Name||"Due Payment-Invoice" phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Payment-invoice is pending approval.|
|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.
Phishing spam campaign examples
We have analyzed thousands of spam emails; "Renewing The Domain", "Google Docs email scam", "Adobe Reader File email scam", "Annual Open Vacation Plan" - are just a few of our latest finds in the phishing category.
Aside from various scams, this mail is used to proliferate trojans, ransomware, and other malware. These emails can have a wide variety of disguises; they can even be presented as letters from legitimate companies, organizations, institutions, authorities, and other existing entities.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When an infectious file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - malware download/installation processes are initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We advise being vigilant with incoming mail. The attachments and links present in suspicious/irrelevant emails and messages - must not be opened since that can lead to a system infection. Additionally, it is important to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.
However, malware is not spread just through spam mail. Therefore, we also recommend downloading only from official/verified sources and activating/updating software by using legitimate tools (as illegal activation tools ["cracks"] and third-party updaters may contain malicious programs).
We must stress the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. This software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats and issues. 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 "Due Payment-Invoice" email letter:
Subject: Approve Due payment Invoice sent At 09/01/2022 07:28:40 am
A pending due payment-invoice has been shared with you on - portal
Please review due invoice for signing and approval for paymnet.
Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "Due Payment-Invoice" spam campaign:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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:
- What is "Due Payment-Invoice" phishing email?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious 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.
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.
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:
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?
Spam emails are not personal. Cyber criminals distribute these letters by the thousand with the hopes that at least some recipients will fall for their scams.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have disclosed account credentials - change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if you've provided other private data (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - immediately contact the corresponding authorities.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, reading/opening a spam email will not initiate any malware download/installation chains. Systems are infected when the attachments or links found in this mail are opened/clicked.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
Whether an infection was triggered might depend on the opened file's format. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) - most likely, yes - your system was infected. However, document formats (.pdf, .doc, .xls, etc.) may require additional actions (e.g., enabling macro commands) to begin downloading/installing malware.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate most of the known malware infections. It has to be mentioned that running a complete system scan is paramount - since sophisticated malicious software tends to hide deep within systems.