What kind of scam is "Your Wages Monthly Activity Statement"?
Our team has investigated this email and found that it is sent by scammers who seek to lure recipients into providing sensitive information. It contains a link to a deceptive website asking to provide login credentials. Such emails are called phishing emails.
More about the "Your Wages Monthly Activity Statement" scam email
This email is disguised as a letter regarding an updated salary review (a final post-Covid-19 listing). The file attached to the email is an HTML file named "salary-increase-sheet-October-2022.html (its name may vary). This HTML file supposedly contains a monthly activity statement.
Opening the attached HTML file leads to a deceptive page mimicking the Microsoft SharePoint page. That page requests to enter an email address to verify identity. Also, it could ask to enter a password. Typically, scammers use such pages to steal online accounts (e.g., email, social media, gaming, and other accounts).
It is important to mention that when scammers obtain login credentials for one account, they usually try to access other accounts too. Thus, providing usernames and passwords (or other login information) often results in having multiple accounts stolen.
|Name||Your Wages Monthly Activity Statement Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||File attached to the email contains a salary statement|
|Attachment||salary-increase-sheet-October-2022.html (its name may vary)|
|Detection Names (salary-increase-sheet-October-2022.html)||Avast (Other:SNH-gen [Phish]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKDZ.92922), ESET-NOD32 (HTML/Phishing.Gen), Fortinet (HTML/Phishing.284!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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Similar scam emails in general
Most phishing emails are disguised as important, official, or urgent letters from legitimate companies, organizations, or other entities. They usually ask to provide sensitive information (e.g., passwords, credit card details, ID card information, etc.) or contain a link to a page requesting to provide that information.
Examples of phishing emails are "Authenticate Account Email Scam", "Password Expired Email Scam", and "Account Termination Request Email Scam". Threat actors can use email not only to extract information but also to deliver malware.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
Malicious MS Office documents cannot infect computers without users having to enable macros (editing or contents). Executables usually inject malware after opening/executing them.
How to avoid installation of malware?
Do not trust irrelevant (or suspicious in other ways) emails sent from unknown addresses, especially when they contain links or attachments. Be careful about opening links or files in such emails - do not open them without being sure they are harmless.
Download programs (and files) from official pages and stores. Avoid using P2P networks, third-party downloaders, free file hosting websites, and other sources of this kind to download software. Do not trust ads on shady pages. Keep the operating system and installed programs updated. Use reputed antivirus software.
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 Wages Monthly Activity Statement" email letter:
Subject: Updated October salary review (Final Post-Covid-19 listing)
Your wages monthly activity statement
Enclosed year's Wage increment will start in October of 2022 and will be paid out for the first time by November, with recalculation as of October..
To view documents in , you must have Adobe Acrobat PDF reader software version 4 or above installed on your computer.
If your computer does not have Adobe PDF reader, visit the Adobe website to download and install the latest PDF reader.
Screenshot of the fake SharePoint page:
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:
- What is Your Wages Monthly Activity Statement 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?
There is a high chance that many other people received the same letter. Scammers probably obtained your email address via some deceptive page or after it was leaked in a data breach.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this email, what should I do?
If you provided your account login credentials, change all passwords immediately. Contact the corresponding authorities if you have provided other personal information (e.g., credit card details, ID card information, social security number, etc.).
I have downloaded and opened a malicious file attached to an email, is my computer infected?
It depends on the file type. For instance, malicious MS Office documents cannot cause harm until macros commands are enabled. Archive files (like ZIP and RAR) are harmless until their contents are extracted and executed. Executables infect computers after opening them.
I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?
It is safe to open emails even when they contain malicious links or attachments. Computers cannot be infected without opening those links or files.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will remove malware. It can detect almost all known malware. Computers infected with high-end must be scanned fully (using a full scan option). Typically, malware of this kind hides deep.