How to spot fake emails like "HR Added You To The Working Group"

Also Known As: HR Added You To The Working Group phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What is "HR Added You To The Working Group"?

After examining the letter, we have determined that it is a deceptive email designed by scammers to deceive recipients into divulging sensitive information. The email is disguised as a message from an HR department and contains a link to a phishing website. It is recommended that recipients disregard this deceitful email.

HR Added You To The Working Group email spam campaign

More about the "HR Added You To The Working Group" scam email

This phishing email appears to be a message notifying recipients that they have been added to a working group on Teams, with 8 members in the group. The subject of the email suggests that a signed contract has been completed. The email includes a generic copyright notice and privacy policy at the bottom.

The intention is to trick recipients into clicking the provided link ("Open Teams" button) and entering the requested information. During our investigation, the page within this email was down. However, it is very likely that scammers behind this letter aim to trick recipients into disclosing their login credentials.

Scammers steal login credentials for a variety of reasons. One common reason is to gain access to sensitive information or financial accounts. With login credentials, scammers can log into email accounts, social media profiles, bank accounts, and other platforms to gather personal information, steal money, or carry out fraudulent activities.

They may also sell the stolen login credentials on the dark web to other cybercriminals for profit. Additionally, scammers may use the stolen credentials to spread malware or launch phishing attacks by sending malicious emails or messages to the victim's contacts.

Threat Summary:
Name HR Added You To The Working Group Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipients have been added to a working group
Disguise Letter from human resources department
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

Typically, phishing emails create a sense of urgency or pressure to respond quickly to avoid negative consequences, such as account closure or suspension. They often claim to be from a trusted source, such as a bank, a social media platform, or a government agency. They may use official logos or design elements to create a false sense of legitimacy.

In most cases, scammers use such emails to steal personal or financial information, such as login credentials, credit card details, or social security numbers. Examples of similar scams are "Microsoft Outlook Mailbox Configuration Email Scam", "This Is A Secure Message Email Scam", and "Webmail Account Maintenance Email Scam".

It is important to note that links and files within emails sent by cybercriminals can be used to distribute malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Emails that contain malware include either malicious links or attachments. These emails are dangerous as users often download and install the malware themselves by enabling macros in malicious documents or running executable files, or performing other actions.

Threat actors frequently use various file types, such as malicious MS Office documents, PDF files, JavaScript files, executables, ISO files, and archives, to spread malware.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is crucial to download software and files solely from official pages and stores while avoiding other sources. Ads on unreliable websites should be distrusted, and emails should be closely examined, particularly those from unknown senders or irrelevant to the recipient.

In addition, regularly updating the operating system and installed software, along with running virus scans using a reputable antivirus program, is recommended.

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 "HR Added You To The Working Group" email letter:

Subject: Completed: Signed ******** Contract.

******** Teams

HR, added you to the Working Group "******** Contract" Teams.

Working Group "******** Contracts"

8 Members

Open Teams

©  ******** Teams
Privacy Policy

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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?

The scammers send identical messages to a large number of people with the hope that at least one person will fall for it. These types of spam emails are never personalized.

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

If you have disclosed any account credentials, it is essential to change all passwords immediately. In case you have provided other personal information, such as credit card details or ID card information, it is recommended to contact the relevant authorities without delay.

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

If the file in question is executable, then it is highly likely that the system has been infected. However, if the file was a document like PDF or DOC, it is possible that the system has not been infected as some malware may not infiltrate the system just by opening the document.

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

Merely opening an email does not pose any risk to the system. It is clicking on links or opening attached files within the email that can cause system infections.

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

Combo Cleaner has the ability to detect and remove nearly all known malware infections, but it is important to note that some advanced malware may be deeply hidden within the system. Therefore, conducting a full system scan is highly recommended to guarantee complete removal.

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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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