How to spot fake emails like the "FIFTH THIRD BANK" scam email

Also Known As: FIFTH THIRD BANK phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What is the "FIFTH THIRD BANK" scam email?

After examining this email, we concluded that it is a fake letter from Fifth Third Bank regarding suspicious account activity. Scammers behind this scam email aim to trick recipients into providing sensitive information on a deceptive website. This email should be ignored.

FIFTH THIRD BANK email spam campaign

More about the "FIFTH THIRD BANK" scam email

This email claims that a purchase worth $456.99 has been made on the Amazon website through the recipient's checking account. It urges the recipient to contact the bank and submit a ticket immediately if the transaction has not been authorized by the recipient. The email contains a link to a deceptive website.

Clicking that link opens a phishing page requesting to log in to an online banking account using the user ID and password. Scammers use this site to steal online banking login credentials. Stolen information could be used to make fraudulent transactions. Thus, it is strongly recommended not to trust this email or provide any information on the website provided in it.

Threat Summary:
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim The recipient's banking account was used to make a purchase on Amazon
Related Domain agarthi[.]it
Detection Names (agarthi[.]it) N/A (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (agarthi[.]it)
Disguise Letter from Fifth Third Bank
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 scam emails in general

Most scammers behind phishing emails pretend to be legitimate companies or other entities. They aim to extract sensitive information (e.g., credit card details, login credentials, ID card information, etc.).

A couple examples of similar phishing emails are "Board Approved Payroll Email Scam", "Incoming Failed Messages Email Scam", and "Annual Salary Adjustment Email Scam". Threat actors use email not only to obtain personal information but also to deliver malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Computer infections are caused via email by opening malicious attachments or links (opening infected websites or files downloaded from them). The most commonly used files to distribute malware are infected MS Office documents, PDF documents, executables, archives (like ZIP, RAR), ISO files, and JavaScript files.

Malicious MS Office documents infect computers after enabling macros commands (editing/content). However, MS Office versions released before 2010 do not include the Protected View feature. It means that computer infections are caused just by opening malicious documents.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Investigate emails before opening links or files. Opening attachments and links in irrelevant emails sent from unknown, suspicious addresses will likely lead to malware execution. Keep the operating system and installed programs updated. Use official tools provided by software developers for updating and activating the installed software.

Download software from official web pages (or stores). Avoid using other sources (e.g., P2P networks, third-party downloaders, free file hosting websites). Use reputable antivirus software for computer protection and run system scans regularly.

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 "FIFTH THIRD BANK" scam email:

Suspicious Account Activity
A purchase of $456.99 to Amazon.com (AMZN.COM/BILL WA 07/22) was recently
made through your checking account, which was more than your limit on
transactions. This alert message has been automatically generated to notify you of
this purchase.

If you did not authorize this transaction, contact us immediately by
submitting a ticket to:
This is an automated message, please do not reply.

Thank you, Fifth Third Bank

© 2022 Fifth Third Bank, All Rights Reserved.

Screenshot of the fake Fifth Third Bank's login website:

fifth third bank email scam phishing 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:
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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?

This email was sent even to people who are not customers of the Fifth Third Bank. Scammers sent the same letter to all recipients.

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

If you have opened the fake Fifth Third Bank login page and entered your login credentials, contact the bank and change your passwords as soon as possible.

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

It depends on the file that was opened. Malicious executables infect computers after they are opened. MS Office documents do not infect computers until users enable macros commands, archive files are harmless until their contents are opened, etc.

I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?

It is safe to open emails containing malicious links or attachments. Computers cannot be infected by emails. It happens after opening links or files in them.

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

Yes, Combo Cleaner will remove malware from infected computers. It can detect almost all known malware. Since high-end malware usually hides deep in the system, a full system scan is required to eliminate it.

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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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