What kind of email is "Alert! - Suspension Notification"?
"Alert! - Suspension Notification" is a spam email. This scam letter makes false claims regarding the suspension of the recipient's email account. Its goal is to trick recipients into disclosing their account log-in credentials to a phishing website.
"Alert! - Suspension Notification" email scam overview
The spam email with the subject "Kindly Validate [recipient's_email_address] to Avoid Suspension." (may vary) informs that due to an expired security token – the email account will be suspended. The recipient is instructed to re-validate their account to prevent permanent suspension. It must be stressed that this letter is fake, and it is in no way associated with any genuine entities or service providers.
After we clicked the "VALIDATE HERE" button, we were redirected to a phishing site. The page was presented as an email account sign-in page. However, the text presented on the webpage – which claimed that signing in is necessary due to the user accessing sensitive information – somewhat clashed with the spam letter's theme.
Phishing websites operate by recording information entered into them and sending it to scammers. Victims of scams like "Alert! - Suspension Notification" risk more than just losing their email account, as cyber criminals may also gain access to the content registered through it.
To expand upon the potential misuse of stolen content, finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make unauthorized transactions and/or online purchases.
Scammers can also steal the identities of social account owners (e.g., emails, social networking/media, messengers, etc.) and ask the contacts/friends for loans or donations, promote scams, and proliferate malware by sharing malicious files/links.
To summarize, by trusting an email like "Alert! - Suspension Notification" – users can experience system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
If you have already provided your account credentials to a phishing site – immediately change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support.
|Name||"Alert! - Suspension Notification" phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Email account will be suspended due to an expired security token.|
|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 countless spam emails; "Payment Confirmation", "It Is Time For You To Reset The Password", and "Multiple Unsuccessful Login Attempts" are merely a couple examples of phishing letters.
Spam is used to promote a wide variety of scams and even to spread malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, etc.). These emails can wear various disguises, including as messages from legitimate service providers, companies, institutions, authorities, and other entities.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When such a file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the malware download/installation process is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office files infect devices by executing malicious macro commands, while infectious OneNote documents require users to click on embedded files/links.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We strongly advise exercising caution with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages. The attachments or links present in dubious/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be virulent. We also recommend using post-2010 Microsoft Office versions since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro command execution.
However, malware is not proliferated exclusively through spam mail. Therefore, our other recommendations include vigilance when browsing, as fraudulent and malicious online content usually appears ordinary and harmless.
Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified sources. It is just as important to activate and update software by using legitimate functions/tools, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third-party updates can contain malware.
It is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security programs 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 "Alert! - Suspension Notification" spam email letter:
Subject: Kindly Validate ******** to Avoid Suspension.
We are pleased to contact you today
Dear Esteemed User's Of ********,
This is a notification that mail service for your ID: ******** will be suspended.
Suspension Reason: Expired Security Token
To keep mail service active & avoid suspension, kindly Re-validate your E-mail by clicking below Link:
Note: Failure to Re-Validate your account will result in permanent suspension.
Thank you for your time
Customer Support Service.
Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "Alert! - Suspension Notification" spam campaign:
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:
- What is "Alert! - Suspension Notification" 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 mail is not personal. Cyber criminals distribute these emails in massive operations with the hopes that at least some recipients will fall for their scams.
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 possibly compromised accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if the disclosed information was of a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) – immediately contact the corresponding authorities.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
Devices are infected when malicious files or links are opened/clicked; merely reading an email is not enough to trigger such processes.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
If the opened file was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes – your device was infected. However, you might have avoided this if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .pdf, .one, etc.). These formats may require additional actions (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded content, etc.) to start downloading/installing malware.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate most of the known malware infections. It must be stressed that performing a full system scan is essential – since sophisticated malicious software typically hides deep within systems.