Avoid having your email account stolen via fake "DHL e-Shipping Invoice" emails

Also Known As: "DHL e-Shipping Invoice" phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "DHL e-Shipping Invoice"?

After inspecting the "DHL e-Shipping Invoice" email, we determined that it is spam. This email spam campaign operates as a phishing scam. These letters claim to contain an invoice regarding a shipment, which recipients can view and inquire about by logging in with their email accounts. However, by attempting to do so - they will inadvertently disclose this data to scammers.

It must be stressed that this scam mail is in no way associated with the actual DHL logistics company, nor is it connected to the USPS (United States Postal Service), which the emails also mention.

DHL e-Shipping Invoice email spam campaign

"DHL e-Shipping Invoice" email scam overview

The email with the subject "We shipped your order DHL/USPS Tracking #: 9374889927300396573848" (may vary) claims to contain a shipping invoice. The letter states that the recipient can log in to the "shipping portal" to make an inquiry or complaint.

As mentioned previously, the "DHL e-Shipping Invoice" emails are fake and not associated with any legitimate entities. When we opened the file attached to the spam email, we found that it is in an HTML phishing file.

The file is presented as a "shipping portal" into which users can log in with their email account and allegedly access their invoices, shipping documents, etc. However, the log-in credentials (email address and corresponding password) entered into this document will be disclosed to the cyber criminals behind the "DHL e-Shipping Invoice" spam campaign.

What is more, scammers can not only steal the exposed email account but also gain access to the content registered with it. For example, the criminals can hijack connected social accounts (e.g., emails, social media, social networking, messaging platforms, etc.) and, while pretending to be the genuine owners, ask the contacts/friends for loans or spread malware by sharing malicious files/links.

Stolen financial accounts (e.g., online banking, money transferring, e-commerce, etc.) can be used to make unauthorized transactions and online purchases.

In summary, by trusting emails like "DHL e-Shipping Invoice" - users can experience serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If you have already entered your account credentials into a phishing file or website, we strongly advise changing the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and contacting their official support.

Threat Summary:
Name "DHL e-Shipping Invoice" phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipients can review their shipping invoices by logging into the shipping portal with their email account.
Disguise DHL, USPS
Attachment(s) DHL-Express_Shipping.html (filename may vary)
Detection Names Avast (JS:Downloader-FBO [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.Script.GenericKDZ.12831), ESET-NOD32 (HTML/Phishing.Gen), GData (Script.Packed.Agent.F@susp), Microsoft (Trojan:Script/Wacatac.H!ml), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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 spam campaign examples

We have analyzed thousands of spam emails; "Error From Your Mail Server", "You Have 3 Encrypted Documents", and "Due Payment-Invoice" are just a few examples of phishing letters.

In addition to various scams, this type of letter is used to proliferate trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, and other malware. Note that this mail can have a broad range of disguises, which can be competently made and closely mimic legitimate messages. Therefore, we highly recommend being vigilant with incoming emails.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns proliferate malware via infectious files that can be either attached to or linked inside the emails. These files can be archives, executables, Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, etc.

When such an email is executed, run, or otherwise opened - malware download/installation processes are initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect devices by executing malicious macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We advise against opening the attachments and links found in dubious/irrelevant emails and messages since that can result in a malware infection. We recommend using post-2010 Microsoft Office versions, as they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.

It must be mentioned that malicious software is not distributed solely via spam mail. Therefore, we also advise downloading only from official and trustworthy sources. Furthermore, all programs must be activated and updated with tools provided by genuine developers, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third-party updaters can contain malware.

We must emphasize the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and updated. Security software must be used to perform regular system scans and to remove threats/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 "DHL e-Shipping Invoice" spam email letter:

Subject: We shipped your order DHL/USPS Tracking #: 9374889927300396573848

DHL Go Global Global Resources Shipping Support

e-Shipping Invoice

This is to notify you that your shipping invoice is ready for download
See attached file to get more details about your shipment.

For inquiry and complaints, please logon to shipping portal to reach an agent

Deutsche Post DHL Groupo

Legal Notice Terms of Use Privacy Notice Dispute Resolution Accessibility

Screenshot of the "DHL e-Shipping Invoice" spam email's phishing attachment ("DHL-Express_Shipping.html"):

DHL e-Shipping Invoice scam email phishing attachment (DHL-Express_Shipping.html)

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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?

Spam emails are not personal; thousands of users receive identical messages.

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

If you have provided log-in credentials - change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and notify their official support without delay. And if you've disclosed other private information (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, opening/reading a spam email is not enough to trigger a malware download/installation chain. System infections are jumpstarted 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?

Two factors can determine whether an infection occurred. First is the purpose of the file - whether it was designed to download/install malicious software or to record information (phishing). Second is the file's format. When executables (.exe, .run, etc.) are opened - they infect devices almost without fail. While malicious documents (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.) may need additional user interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands) to begin downloading/installing malware.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to detect and eliminate threats. It can remove practically all known malware infections. However, running a complete system scan is essential - as high-end malicious programs usually hide deep within systems.

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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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