Avoid having your email stolen via "ACCOUNT SHUT-DOWN" phishing email

Also Known As: "ACCOUNT SHUT-DOWN" phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "ACCOUNT SHUT-DOWN"?

Our inspection of the "ACCOUNT SHUT-DOWN" email revealed that it is spam. This letter states that the recipient's email account will be shut down per their request. This spam mail operates as a phishing scam and promotes a fake email sign-in page that records the passwords entered into it.

ACCOUNT SHUT-DOWN email spam campaign

"ACCOUNT SHUT-DOWN" email scam overview

The spam letter with the subject "ACCOUNT SHOUT DOWN [recipient's_email_address]" states that a request to shut down and delete the recipient's mail account is about to be processed. The fake letter instructs to click the "Cancel Request »" button – to cancel the request and stop the account's deletion. As previously mentioned, the information provided by this email is false.

When we pressed the aforementioned button, it resulted in a redirect to a phishing website. This site mimics the design of the recipient's email account sign-in page. Despite the website's potentially legitimate appearance – it is fake and will record the information (i.e., mail account passwords) entered into it.

With this data in their possession, scammers can steal the exposed email and possibly the content registered through it. Hijacked accounts and platforms can be variously misused for profit.

For example, stolen financial accounts (e.g., online banking, e-commerce, money transferring, cryptowallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and online purchases. Scammers can also steal the identities of social account owners (e.g., emails, social networking, social media, etc.) and ask the contacts/friends/followers for loans or donations, promote scams, and even distribute malware by sharing malicious files/links.

To summarize, by trusting an email like "ACCOUNT SHUT-DOWN" – users can experience system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

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

Threat Summary:
Name "ACCOUNT SHUT-DOWN" phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Request to shut down and delete the recipient's email account is being processed.
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

"Your Email Access Will Be Removed", "Societe Generale (SG) email scam", "We Are Closing All Old Versions Of Email", and "Automatically Generated Invoice" are merely some examples of phishing emails we have analyzed recently.

In addition to various scams, spam letters are also used to proliferate malware. These emails can be various disguises, including as messages from legitimate companies, corporations, organizations, service providers, authorities, and other entities.

Due to how widespread and well-made spam mail can be, we strongly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, and other messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns distribute malware through malicious attachments or links included in the emails. These files can be documents (Microsoft OneNote, Microsoft Office, PDF, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth.

When a virulent file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the infection process is triggered. For example, infectious Microsoft OneNote files need users to click on embedded files/links, while Office documents infect devices by executing malicious macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We highly recommend being cautious with incoming emails and other messages. The attachments and links found in suspect/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be infectious. It is essential to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros.

However, it must be stressed that malware is not spread exclusively via spam mail. Therefore, we also advise being careful while browsing since fake and dangerous online content usually appears legitimate and innocuous.

Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified channels. It is just as important to activate and update software using legitimate functions/tools, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and fake updaters can contain malware.

We must emphasize that having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date is paramount to device/user safety. Security software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats. 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 "ACCOUNT SHUT-DOWN" spam email letter:




Dear  - ,
You submitted a request to shut down and delete your email and it's folders and it's about to be processed,


To cancel this request and retain your account follow below to cancel!

Cancel Request »


Mail Account Team
-®  Support ©  2023

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "ACCOUNT SHUT-DOWN" spam campaign:

ACCOUNT SHUT-DOWN scam email promoted phishing site

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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 and thousands, of users receive identical ones.

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

If you have disclosed your log-in credential – change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if you've provided other private data (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?

Devices are infected only after a malicious attachment or link is opened/clicked; merely reading an email will not initiate any infection processes.

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

Whether your device was compromised might depend on the opened file's format. Executables (.exe, .run, etc.) infect systems almost without fail when they are opened. While documents (.doc, .xls, .one, .pdf, etc.) might need additional actions (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking on embedded content, etc.) – 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 is capable of removing practically all known malware infections. However, keep in mind that since high-end malicious software usually hides deep within systems – performing a full system scan is crucial.

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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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