Avoid having your email account stolen via "Check Your Email" phishing mail
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What is the "Check Your Email" scam?
Upon our inspection of the "Check Your Email" letter, we determined that it is spam operating as a phishing scam. This fake email instructs recipients to verify their mail account within 24 hours to keep it operational. It must be emphasized that all these claims are false and intended to trick users into disclosing their email log-in credentials.
"Check Your Email" scam overview
The spam letter with the subject "Important: [recipient's_email_address] URGENT ATTENTION REQUIRED..!!" (may vary) states that all email servers were updated on a specific date. It informs that the email account will stop receiving messages if it is not "checked" (likely meaning "verified") within 24 hours. The letter warns that unless this process is completed – the recipients risk losing important messages.
As previously mentioned, "Check Your Email" is fake, and it is in no way associated with any legitimate entities.
After we pressed the "E-MAIL ÜBERPRÜFEN" [verify email] button, it resulted in a redirect to a website that was nonfunctional at the time. However, our experience allows us to infer that it was intended to redirect to a phishing site disguised as an email account sign-in page. It must be mentioned that although the site did not work at the time of research, this may be rectified in future releases of the "Check Your Email" spam campaign.
Information (e.g., email account address and corresponding password) entered into a phishing webpage will be recorded and sent to cyber criminals. Phishing websites that target email log-in credentials enable criminals to steal exposed mail accounts. However, they may also hijack the content registered through the emails.
Stolen content can be variously misused. To elaborate, scammers can steal the identities of social account owners (e.g., emails, social networking, social media, messengers, etc.) and ask their contacts/friends/followers for loans or donations, promote scams, and even proliferate malware by sharing malicious files/links.
Finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make unauthorized transactions and online purchases.
In summary, by trusting an email like "Check Your Email" – users can experience system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
If you have provided your log-in credentials to scammers – immediately change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and contact their official support.
|Name||"Check Your Email" phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Unless the recipient verifies their email account – they risk losing important messages.|
|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 inspected thousands of spam emails; "Bank Slip", "Webmail Security Changes", "SaphetyDoc", and "DHL - A Parcel Was Sent To You" are just a few examples of our newest finds of ones used for phishing.
In addition to facilitating scams, spam mail proliferates malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, etc.). Various social engineering techniques and disguises are used to gain and subsequently abuse recipients' trust. These letters are often presented as messages from legitimate companies, corporations, organizations, institutions, service providers, authorities, and other entities.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When such a file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the malware download/installation chain is jumpstarted. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect devices by executing malicious macro commands, while infectious OneNote files require users to click on embedded content.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We highly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages. We advise against opening attachments or links present in suspicious mail, as they can be malicious and cause infections. It is important to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.
It must be mentioned that malware is not proliferated exclusively via spam mail. Therefore, we also advise being vigilant when browsing since fraudulent and dangerous online content usually appears ordinary and harmless.
Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified channels. It is crucial to activate and update programs using legitimate functions/tools, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updates can contain malware.
We must emphasize that having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date is essential to device/user safety. This software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove 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 "Check Your Email" spam letter:
Subject: Important: - URGENT ATTENTION REQUIRED..!!
You are receiving this message because we updated all email servers today 3/6/2023 10:25:33 p.m. Your email will stop sending and receiving important messages if not checked immediately within 24 hours.
Click the button below to check your email:
If you don't execute this request, you risk losing important messages to the server.
© 2023 -.
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 "Check Your Email" 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?
Spam emails are not personal. This mail is distributed in large-scale campaigns – therefore, thousands of users receive identical messages.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have provided your log-in credentials – change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if you've disclosed information of a different personal nature (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, merely opening/reading an email will not initiate any system infection 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 the system 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 additional user interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking on embedded files/links, etc.) to start downloading/installing malware.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of detecting and eliminating most of the known malware infections. It must be noted that since high-end malware hides deep within systems – running a full system scan is essential.
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