Avoid losing your email account via fake "SaphetyDoc" emails
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What kind of email is "SaphetyDoc"?
After inspecting this "SaphetyDoc" email, we determined that it is spam. This fake letter is presented as a notification regarding a sent electronic document.
Once the recipient attempts to access the file, they are redirected to a phishing website that mimics their email account sign-in page. Hence, by trusting this email, users can have their mail accounts stolen.
"SaphetyDoc" email scam overview
The email with the subject "SaphetyDoc: sent file FG BS/007381." (may vary) states that a supplier entity created an electronic document via an OCR (Optical character recognition) process. The letter then switches to the French language and informs the recipient that they can obtain the document by following the link provided below.
As previously mentioned, this email is fake, and it is in no way associated with any legitimate entities. Hence, when we pressed the "obtenir un document" [obtain the document] button, it resulted in a redirect to a phishing website.
This site copies the design of the recipient's email account sign-in page. However, despite the webpage's potentially legitimate appearance – it is fake and will record the information entered into it. The log-in credentials (i.e., email account address and corresponding password) will be sent to the scammers behind this spam campaign.
In addition to stealing the exposed emails, the cyber criminals may be able to hijack the content registered through them. To elaborate, scammers can steal the identities of social account owners (e.g., emails, social networking/media, messengers, etc.) and ask their contacts/friends/followers for loans or donations, promote scams, and even distribute malware by sharing malicious files/links.
Hijacked finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, money transferring, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and online purchases.
To summarize, phishing emails like "SaphetyDoc" pose severe privacy threats and can cause financial losses, and even identity theft.
If you have provided your log-in credentials to a phishing site – we strongly recommend changing the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and contacting their official support without delay.
|Name||"SaphetyDoc" phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Recipient has been sent an electronic document.|
|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.
Phishing spam campaign examples
We have analyzed thousands of spam emails; "DHL - A Parcel Was Sent To You", "Messages Not Delivered Due To Server Interruptions", "Product Availability Confirmation", and "Measures To Strengthen Server Security" are merely some examples of ones used for phishing.
In addition to various scams, this mail is used to proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.). Deceptive letters typically use social engineering and a variety of disguises to gain and subsequently abuse recipients' trust. These emails can be presented as messages from genuine companies, service providers, institutions, organizations, authorities, and other entities.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When such a file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the infection chain is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect devices by executing malicious macro commands. On the other hand, virulent Microsoft OneNote files require users to click on embedded files or links to start downloading/installing malware.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We strongly recommend being vigilant with incoming emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, and other messages. The attachments or links found in dubious/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be malicious and cause system infections.
We advise using post-2010 Microsoft Office versions since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro command execution.
It must be mentioned that malware is proliferated using various techniques, not just spam mail. Therefore, it is important to download only from official and verified channels. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated using legitimate functions/tools, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and fake updaters can contain malware.
Another recommendation is to exercise caution while browsing since fraudulent and dangerous online content usually appears ordinary and innocuous.
We must emphasize the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. Security software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected 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 "SaphetyDoc" spam email letter:
Subject: SaphetyDoc: sent file FG BS/007381.
Dear [EMail_LocalPart] ,
The Supplier entity created on request as part of the OCR process has transmitted via SaphetyDoc the following electronic document:
Filename : FG BS/007381[Mail_Recipient_Count]
Date du document
Vous pouvez obtenir le document à l'adresse suivante:
obtenir un document
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Saphety- Electronic Document
8012 Mission Terrace Crt, Houston, TX 77083
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Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "SaphetyDoc" spam campaign:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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 "SaphetyDoc" 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?
Cyber criminals distribute spam emails in massive campaigns with the hopes that at least some recipients will fall for their scams. Therefore, this mail is not personal.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have disclosed your log-in credentials – change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and contact their official support without delay. And if you've provided other private information (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) – immediately contact the appropriate authorities.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, opening/reading an email will not jumpstart any malware download/installation processes. Devices are infected when malicious attachments or links are opened.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
Whether your device was infected might depend on the opened file's format. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes. However, documents (.doc, .xls, .one, .pdf, etc.) may need extra 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 nearly all known malware infections. Note that since sophisticated malicious programs usually hide deep within systems – running a full system scan is essential.
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