How to spot fake emails like "Crypto Payment Notification"

Also Known As: Crypto Payment Notification phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "Crypto Payment Notification"?

We have inspected this email and concluded that it is written by scammers who aim to trick recipients into providing sensitive information. It is disguised as a letter regarding a cryptocurrency transaction and contains links designed to open phishing pages. This email should be marked as spam and deleted.

Crypto Payment Notification scam email

More about the "Crypto Payment Notification" scam email

This email claims that 16.5 ETH (Ethereum cryptocurrency) has been sent to your crypto wallet. It also contains a fake transaction ID and a Telegram username. It instructs you to verify your existing wallet via the provided page to receive your token.

The purpose of this email is to trick recipients into believing that they have received cryptocurrency and can claim it via the provided page. It contains "Verify your existing wallet here" and "View Status" hyperlinks designed to open a phishing page.

That phishing page requests to enter a seed phrase or private key to connect a chosen crypto wallet. It is created by scammers who aim to steal crypto wallets. Thus, providing information on the phishing page promoted via this email will lead to losing crypto funds.

Threat Summary:
Name Crypto Payment Notification Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim 16.5 ETH have been sent to your cryptocurrency wallet
Related Domains decentralize-solutions[.]com, cakeresume[.]com
Detection Names (decentralize-solutions[.]com) N/A (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (cakeresume[.]com) N/A (VirusTotal)
Disguise Letter from crypto-related company
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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Similar scam emails in general

Phishing emails are used to steal sensitive information (mostly credit card details, login information, ID card information, social security numbers, etc.). Typically, they are disguised as official/important/urgent letters from legitimate entities. Scammers ask to provide personal details directly via email or fake (deceptive) pages.

Examples of similar emails are "DHL - Your Parcel Delivery Arrived Today", "Contract Document Email Scam", and "Standard Bank Email Scam". Emails can also be used to trick recipients into infecting their computers.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Emails that threat actors use to deliver malware contain malicious links or attachments. Their goal is to trick recipients into downloading and opening malicious files (executing malware). Most threat actors use Microsoft Office or PDF documents, JavaScript files, archives like ZIP, RAR, or executable files to lure users into infecting computers with malware.

Whether computers get infected immediately after opening a malicious file depends on the file type. For instance, malicious executables infect computers after opening them. But MS Office documents cannot inject malware until users enable macros commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Carefully examine emails before opening links or files in them. Especially when emails are irrelevant and sent from unknown addresses. Download software (and files) from official websites only. Keep your computer (the operating system and installed programs) updated. Do not trust advertisements and links on suspicious websites.

If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Appearance of the "Crypto Payment Notification" email and a phishing page promoted via this email (GIF):

Crypto Payment Notification email scam appearance

Text presented in the "Crypto Payment Notification" email letter:

Subject: ******** Your Payment Has Been Completed successfully on Monday, December 26, 2022

Hello ********,

You have received all required funds for your payment of 16.5 ETH {ERC20}  to your wallet. Payment is now Completed.

The transaction ID of this payment is: CPGL34I7GDN90UZ8HQJQPN9BWN

Kindly verify your existing wallet using the below link. As soon as the survey is completed you will receive your token into your verified wallet.
Verify your existing wallet here
If you were logged in to your account, you will also be able to view the status at View Status
Here are the admins to chat with to rectify any issues you are having.
Telegram@ @Harry1917

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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?

Scammers behind emails of this type send the same letter to all recipients. This email is not personal.

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

Transfer your crypto funds into a new wallet and generate a new seed phrase (or other login information). If it is not possible to access your crypto wallet anymore, contact its customer support to see if they can help.

I have sent cryptocurrency to the address presented in such email, can I get my money back?

Unfortunately, crypto transactions are irreversible. Thus, it is impossible to retrieve your crypto if it is already transferred to scammers.

Can emails be used to deliver malware?

Yes, threat actors can use emails to trick recipients into infecting computers. Their emails contain malicious links or attachments.

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

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect almost all known malware. It is important to know that high-end malware can be designed to hide deep in the operating system. In such cases, it is required to run a full system scan to remove malware.

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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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