How to spot fake letters like "Your Account Expiry" scam email
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What kind of scam is "Your Account Expiry"?
Upon examination, we have identified that this email is a phishing scam that masquerades as a notification from an email service provider. Its objective is to trick recipients into visiting a fraudulent website and revealing sensitive information. Consequently, we advise recipients to ignore this email.
More about the "Your Account Expiry" scam email
This phishing email informs recipients that their email account is set to expire and requires an upgrade. The email includes a fake expiration date and a call-to-action button ("Activate My Account"). This email is an attempt to trick recipients into clicking on the provided link and revealing sensitive information.
During our investigation, the page provided in this scam email was down. However, the majority of similar emails are used to trick recipients into providing login information (e.g., email addresses and passwords). Scammers can misuse stolen login information in several ways.
They can use the stolen login information to access the victim's financial accounts, such as bank accounts or credit cards, and make unauthorized transactions or withdraw money. Also, they can access personal data, such as social security numbers, addresses, dates of birth, etc., and use it for other malicious purposes, such as selling it on the dark web or using it to conduct targeted phishing attacks.
In other cases, they use stolen information to access accounts and misuse them to send phishing emails or even deliver malware to other users.
|Name||Your Account Expiry Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Email account is set to expire on the specified data|
|Disguise||Letter from an email service provider|
|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.
Similar emails in general
Phishing emails often create a sense of urgency, prompting recipients to take action without thinking carefully. These emails often contain links or attachments that lead to fake login pages or download malware. Also, many phishing emails contain poor grammar and spelling mistakes and use fake or spoofed sender addresses to make them appear to come from a legitimate source.
Examples of phishing emails are "Email Verification Alert Scam", "Fill The Sars Email Scam", and "EMAIL ACCOUNT SHUTDOWN REQUEST Email Scam".
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
Users can infect their computers via email by falling victim to emails that contain malicious attachments or links to infected websites. To infect a computer via email, a user must first open a malicious attachment or click on a link within the email.
How to avoid installation of malware?
Be cautious and skeptical when receiving unsolicited emails, and avoid opening files or clicking on links from unknown or suspicious senders. Keep the operating system and installed programs up to date and use reputable antivirus software.
Download programs and files from reliable sources (such as official sites and legitimate stores) and avoid using P2P networks, shady sites, or third-party downloaders (and similar sources). Do not trust advertisements, pop-ups, and links on dubious websites.
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 "Your Account Expiry" email letter:
Subject: Urgrnt Important Notice
Your account expiry
Your domain email account - is set to expire and request upgrades
Date of Expiry: April 24, 2023
Activate My Account
Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved
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 Your Account Expiry 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?
Criminals send phishing emails to thousands of recipients, expecting some of them to fall for the trap. The emails are never tailored to the individual recipient and are sent en masse.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this email, what should I do?
In case you have disclosed any account credentials, changing all your passwords is recommended without delay. Moreover, if you have shared any other personal information, including your credit card details, ID card information, etc., it is essential to inform the relevant authorities as soon as possible.
I have downloaded and opened a malicious file attached to an email, is my computer infected?
There is a possibility that your computer is infected with malware if you have downloaded and opened a malicious file attached to an email. It depends on the file type. In certain cases, simply opening a file is not enough for malware to infiltrate the system
I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?
Merely opening an email is not harmful at all. However, clicking on links or downloading attachments from an email can lead to malware infections on your system.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?
Combo Cleaner can recognize and remove nearly all known malware infections. Sophisticated malware can be deeply embedded in the operating system. Therefore, performing a comprehensive system scan is crucial to ensure its complete removal.
▼ Show Discussion