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Avoid losing your account via "Intuit QuickBooks" phishing emails

Also Known As: "Intuit QuickBooks Invoice" phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "Intuit QuickBooks Invoice"?

After analyzing the "Intuit QuickBooks Invoice" email, we determined that it is a phishing scam. The spam letter falsely claims that the recipient has a payment pending that requires their approval. The goal of this mail is to deceive recipients into providing their Intuit account log-in credentials to an attached phishing file.

Intuit QuickBooks Invoice email spam campaign

"Intuit QuickBooks Invoice" email scam overview

The email with the subject "You Have A Pending ACH Remittance" (may vary) is presented as a notification from Intuit QuickBooks. The fake letter states that the recipient has a pending ACH (Automated Clearing House)/ Direct Deposit payment in the amount of 661.32 USD.

This remittance requires the recipient's approval. They are instructed to download and review the "secure attachment" for payment details, and then approve it.

The attachment – "You_have_a_payment_ for_review.html" (may vary) – is an HTML phishing file. This attachment requires the user to sign into their Intuit account.

Intuit is the developer of QuickBooks (accounting software package), TurboTax (US income tax return preparation software package), and Mailchimp (email marketing platform). It must be stressed that none of these services or their developer Intuit are associated with this phishing mail.

If a user attempts to sign into their Intuit account through this file – they will unintentionally expose their log-in credentials to the scammers behind the spam campaign. Information linked to Intuit accounts can be highly sensitive, and cyber criminals can abuse it for a variety of nefarious purposes.

Victims of scams like "Intuit QuickBooks Invoice" can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If you have already tried signing in through the phishing attachment – change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. It might also be prudent to contact the appropriate authorities.

Threat Summary:
Name "Intuit QuickBooks Invoice" phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient has a remittance that is pending their approval.
Disguise Intuit (QuickBooks, Mailchimp, TurboTax)
Attachment(s) You_have_a_payment_ for_review.html (filename may vary)
Detection Names Avast (Other:Malware-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.68275567), DrWeb (HTML.FishForm.494), ESET-NOD32 (HTML/Phishing.Agent.ENV), McAfee (HTML/Phishing.tz), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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.
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Phishing spam campaign examples

"Quickbooks Payments Invoice" is an example of another spam campaign that targets Intuit account credentials, while "Your Account Has Been Temporarily Disabled", "Account Violation Detected", "Your Email Has Used Up It Inbox Space", "E-MAIL DELIVERY BLOCKED" – are some of our newest finds within the phishing email category.

Various scams are promoted through deceptive emails, including (but not limited to): phishing, sextortion, callback, tech support, lottery, inheritance, and refund. Furthermore, spam is used to proliferate malware.

This mail can be basic and plain or competently disguised as messages from legitimate service providers, companies, organizations, authorities, and other entities.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam emails/messages can have infectious files attached to or linked inside them. These files can be documents (Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, PDF, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth.

When a malicious file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the infection process is jumpstarted. However, some formats may require additional interaction to start downloading/installing malware. For example, Microsoft Office files need users to enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), while OneNote documents require them to click on embedded files or links.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We strongly advise exercising caution with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages. Attachments or links found in suspicious/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be malicious. We recommend using post-2010 Microsoft Office versions since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro command execution.

However, it must be mentioned that malware is not spread exclusively via spam mail. Therefore, we also advise caution when browsing since fake and dangerous online content usually appears genuine and harmless.

Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified sources. Another recommendation is to activate and update programs by using legitimate functions/tools, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updaters can contain malware.

We must emphasize that having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated is essential to device/user safety. Security software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected 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 "Intuit QuickBooks Invoice" spam email letter:

Subject: You Have A Pending ACH Remittance


Intuit QuickBooks
-

 

Invoice Due:07/25/20223
0000315 Amount Due: $661.32     


Your ACH/Direct Deposit remittance is pending your Approval, Please download the secure attachment to see the details of your payment.


We appreciate your business.


Thank You,

Screenshot of the phishing file attached to this spam email ("You_have_a_payment_ for_review.html"):

Intuit QuickBooks Invoice scam email promoted phishing file (You_have_a_payment_ for_review.html)

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?

Spam emails are not personal. They are distributed in large-scale operations – 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 already disclosed your log-in credentials – immediately change the passwords of all possibly compromised accounts and inform their official support. And if your other private data has been exposed (e.g., ID card numbers, passport photos/scans, credit card numbers, etc.) – contact the corresponding authorities without delay.

I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

Devices are infected when malicious attachments or links are opened; just reading an email will not trigger infection processes.

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

Whether your device was infected depends on the opened file's purpose (e.g., phishing vs. malware download/installation).

Additionally, the file format may impact infection chains. Executables (.exe, .run, etc.) cause infections almost without fail when they are opened. While documents (.doc, .xls, .one, .pdf, etc.) may require additional actions (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded files/links, etc.) to start malware download/installation processes.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to scan systems and remove all manner of threats. It is capable of detecting and eliminating most of the known malware infections. Note that performing a full system scan is crucial – since sophisticated malicious programs usually hide deep within systems.

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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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