How to spot scam campaigns like "Anthem Encrypted Message"

Also Known As: Anthem Encrypted Message phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "Anthem Encrypted Message"?

We have examined this email and determined that its purpose is to lure recipients into providing personal information. This email contains an attachment designed to display a fake login form. The letter itself is disguised as a notification from Anthem regarding a payment. Recipients should ignore this email and leave its contents unopened.

Anthem Encrypted Message email scam

More about the "Anthem Encrypted Message" scam email

The subject of the email is designed to grab attention and create a sense of urgency. It claims to be from "Anthem", possibly referring to the health insurance company. The email states that you have received an encrypted message and prompts you to download an attachment to view it.

The letter also includes a copyright notice from Proofpoint, Inc., a legitimate company specializing in email security. The HTML file attached to this email is named "Anthem- HealthCare-Payments-Notification.html" (its name may vary). Once opened, the attached file presents a fake login form requesting to enter an email address and password.

It is evident that the scammers behind this letter aim to steal email account login credentials. With access to your email account, scammers can read your incoming and outgoing emails, gaining insights into your personal and professional life. They can view sensitive information, such as financial statements, personal conversations, or login credentials for other accounts.

They can also use your email account to impersonate you and send fraudulent emails to your contacts, attempt to log in to other accounts using the same username and password, initiate password reset requests for other online services associated with your email address, and more.

Threat Summary:
Name Anthem Encrypted Message Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipients have received an encrypted message from Anthem.
Attachment Anthem-HealthCare-Payments-Notification.html
Detection Names (Attachment) Avast (HTML:Phishing-CJK [Phish]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.Generic.33701624), ESET-NOD32 (HTML/Phishing.Agent.CCD), Fortinet (HTML/Agent.CCD!phish), VIPRE (Trojan.Generic.33701624), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Disguise Letter from legitimate company or organization
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

Phishing emails often create a sense of urgency or fear to provoke the recipient into taking immediate action. They commonly impersonate legitimate organizations or trusted individuals. Also, phishing emails often include links or attachments that, when clicked or downloaded, can lead to the installation of malware or the collection of sensitive information.

Examples of similar emails are "Review Pending Messages Email Scam", "Domain Ownership Has Expired Email Scam", and "MyGov Secure Message Email Scam".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Phishing emails can introduce malware to users' computers by including harmful attachments or links. These attachments can be in formats such as PDFs, ZIP files, or Microsoft Office documents, and when downloaded or opened, they can activate the malware.

Similarly, clicking on links within these emails can redirect users to compromised websites that initiate the download of malware onto their computers.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Exercise caution when dealing with email attachments and links, especially if they come from unfamiliar or suspicious sources, particularly if the email was unexpected. It is crucial to keep your operating system, software, and plugins up to date with the latest security updates and patches. Regularly update your antivirus software to maximize protection.

Additionally, it is advisable to download programs only from reputable sources, avoiding P2P networks, questionable websites, or third-party downloaders. Be cautious when encountering ads, pop-ups, and links on untrustworthy 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 "Anthem Encrypted Message" email letter:

Subject: EFT/ERA Anthem ACH Payment: Completed_ Please Review and Sign

You've received an encrypted message from Anthem.
Download attachment to view secure message.
Technical Support
Disclaimer:  This email and its content are confidential and intended solely for the use of the addressee. Please notify the sender if you have received this email in error or simply delete it.
Secured by Proofpoint Encryption, Copyright © 2022-2023 Proofpoint, Inc. All rights reserved.

Screenshot of the fake page opened displayed by the attached HTML file:

Anthem encrypted message email scam phishing page

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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:
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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 objective of scammers is to send identical letters to numerous recipients with the expectation that they will deceive someone. Their emails usually lack personalization.

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

In the event that you have shared any account credentials, it is crucial to update all passwords promptly. Additionally, if you have disclosed any other personal information like credit card details or ID card information, it is essential to contact the appropriate authorities without delay.

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

The file attached to this email does not infect computers with malware. However, computers can become infected via emails.

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

Merely opening an email poses no harm whatsoever.

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

Combo Cleaner can identify and eradicate nearly all known malware infections. However, it is important to note that sophisticated malware often conceals itself deep within the system. Therefore, conducting a comprehensive system scan is imperative to ensure thorough detection and 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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