Avoid getting scammed by "Your Email Was Suggested By Your Customer" scam

Also Known As: "Your Email Was Suggested By Your Customer" phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "Your Email Was Suggested By Your Customer"?

Our analysis of the "Your Email Was Suggested By Your Customer" spam letter revealed that it operates as a phishing scam. It attempts to deceive recipients into disclosing their email account log-in credentials by claiming that their company may be eligible for a project.

Your Email Was Suggested By Your Customer email spam campaign

"Your Email Was Suggested By Your Customer" email scam overview

The spam email with the subject "UAE Contract Tender (No SPC/108/2023)" (may vary) states that a European customer suggested the recipient's company to the sender. The scam letter claims that the sender wishes the recipient to assist with a project in the United Arab Emirates.

The email instructs reviewing the attached confidential document containing information regarding the project. When we opened the HTML document, it requested us to sign in with an email account to access the nonexistent data. This phishing file is designed to record the log-in credentials (passwords) entered into it, and with this data in their possession - the scammers can gain control over the exposed accounts.

Furthermore, via a stolen email - the cyber criminals might be able to hijack the content registered through it. To elaborate on how this can be abused, scammers can pretend to be the owners of a stolen social account and ask the contacts for loans or spread malware by sharing malicious files/links.

Finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, e-commerce, money transferring, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions or online purchases.

To summarize, by trusting emails like "Your Email Was Suggested By Your Customer" - users can experience system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If you have already entered your log-in credentials into the phishing file - immediately change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support.

Threat Summary:
Name "Your Email Was Suggested By Your Customer" phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient's company is being considered for a project in UAE.
Attachment(s) UAE Contract Tender and Company Profile.html (filename may vary)
Detection Names (attachment) Avast (Other:SNH-gen [Phish]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.Script.GenericKDZ.15238), ESET-NOD32 (HTML/Phishing.Agent.CTZ), Fortinet (JS/Phish.BTC!tr), Ikarus (Phishing.HTML.Doc), 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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Spam campaigns in general

We have analyzed thousands of spam emails. This mail is typically presented as "urgent", "important", or similar; it is often disguised as messages from legitimate companies, organizations, authorities, service providers, etc. In addition to facilitating various scams, spam letters are also used to distribute trojans, ransomware, and other malware.

"Deposited Into Your Bitcoin Portfolio", "Your Email Has Been Restricted", "Please Confirm Your Account", "Pending Messages On Our Remote Server" - are just some examples of phishing emails that we have inspected recently.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns proliferate malware by distributing infectious files. The emails can have them as attachments or contain their download links. These files can be executables (.exe, .run, etc.), archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, and so on.

When a virulent file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - malware download/installation chains are initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect devices by executing malicious macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We strongly recommend being cautious with incoming emails, PMs/DMs, and other messages. The attachments and links found in suspicious/irrelevant mail must not be opened since that can result in a system infection. Additionally, we advise using post-2010 Microsoft Office versions, as they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.

It must be mentioned that malware is not spread exclusively via spam mail. Therefore, it is just as important to download only from official and verified sources. Furthermore, all programs must be activated and updated with tools provided by genuine developers, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third-party updates may contain malicious software.

Another recommendation is to be vigilant when browsing since illegitimate and dangerous online content usually appears ordinary and harmless.

We must emphasize the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security programs must be used to run regular system scans and to remove 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 "Your Email Was Suggested By Your Customer" spam email letter:

Subject: UAE Contract Tender (No SPC/108/2023)

NOTE: ********

Good day

Yourr email (********  ), was suggested by your custormer from EUROPE which there company profile is attached too.

Sorry for the late response was due to internal board meeting and finalization on the above subject and our newly UAE project and we want your company to asst in the above UAE project contract.

You will find below the full project and kindly tick/mark the various services and goods which your company can provide and the possible the lead time for the quantity required and payment .

Check the attached project document and also note that is very confidential and you need to keep it as such, only notify what you can supplied and nothing more.

We also need to be sure that you will abide by the above rules and regulations of the mentioned project .

Ministry Of Public Works
Government office
United Arab Emirates ·
Phone: +971 2 626 0606

Screenshot of the phishing file distributed via this spam campaign ("UAE Contract Tender and Company Profile.html"):

Your Email Was Suggested By Your Customer scam email promoted phishing file (UAE Contract Tender and Company Profile.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?

Cyber criminals distribute this mail in large-scale campaigns - hence, thousands of users receive identical emails.

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 potentially compromised accounts and contact their official support without delay. And if the disclosed information was of a different personal nature (e.g., personally-identifiable data, 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, merely opening/reading an email will not initiate any malware download/installation processes. Devices are infected when malicious attachments or links found in spam mail are opened/clicked.

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

Whether an infection occurred depends on the file's purpose (i.e., phishing vs. malware infiltration) and its format. If the opened file was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) - most likely, yes - your system was infected. However, document formats (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.) may need extra actions (e.g., enabling macro commands) to start downloading/installing malicious software.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to detect and remove threats. It is capable of detecting and eliminating most of the known malware infections. However, running a full system scan is essential - since sophisticated 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.

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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