What kind of email is "Stalled Funds - United Bank Of Africa"?
"Stalled Funds - United Bank Of Africa" is a phishing email targeting recipients' personally identifiable and financial information. The letter aims to extract the highly sensitive data by falsely claiming that a nonexistent payment to the recipient, which has been unjustly stalled, will be transferred to them without further issue.
It must be emphasized that the information provided by this email is fake, and this mail is in no way associated with the actual United Bank for Africa or any other real individuals or entities.
"Stalled Funds - United Bank Of Africa" email scam overview
The spam email with the subject "PAYMENT VERIFICATION PANEL" (may vary) states that the "United Bank of Africa" has learned about communications from various sources falsely claiming authority over the release of the recipient's funds, valued at 6.5 million USD.
The bogus letter then details a supposed investigation into the claims and corrupt officials making them. The findings conclusively showed that many foreigners were defrauded through fictitious documentation and demands for nonexistent fees. Allegedly, the manner had been handed to Nigeria's government, which will pay the amounts owed in full to those defrauded.
The recipient's money will be transferred to them immediately after they provide the necessary information, i.e., a copy of an international passport or driver's license, age, occupation, telephone number, bank name and address, banking account name and number, routing number, and SWIFT code.
As mentioned in the introduction, all the claims made by "Stalled Funds - United Bank Of Africa" are false, and this email is not associated with any legitimate entities.
With the targeted information in the scammers' possession, they can perform a wide variety of nefarious activities. The cyber criminals can steal victims' identities as well as use their financial details to make unauthorized transactions or online purchases.
If you have already disclosed this incredibly vulnerable information to scammers – immediately contact the appropriate authorities.
|Name||"Stalled Funds - United Bank Of Africa" phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Recipient's $6.5 million payment will be released in full following an investigation of various fake fee demands for foreign fund transfers.|
|Disguise||United Bank for Africa|
|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
"Capital One SECURITY MESSAGE", "Upcoming Auction", "American Express Account Has Been Locked", "You Have Received A Secure Message", "Intuit QuickBooks Encrypted Message", "DHL SHIPMENT REMINDER", "Zelis Payment", and "Netherlands De Lotto" are just some examples of phishing emails we have examined recently.
Phishing mail can target a broad range of sensitive information; most commonly, these letters seek to obtain personally identifiable details, finance-related data, and account log-in credentials (e.g., emails, social networking, e-commerce, online banking, money transferring, cryptocurrency wallets, etc.).
However, deceptive emails are not used exclusively for phishing; other scams are facilitated through them as well. Furthermore, spam mail is used to proliferate trojans, ransomware, and other malware.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
Infectious files trigger malware download/installation chains when they are opened. However, some formats require extra actions to start infection processes. For example, Microsoft Office documents need users to enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), while OneNote files require them to click on embedded files/links.
How to avoid installation of malware?
It is crucial to treat incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages with care. We advise against opening attachments or links found in dubious mail, as they can be malicious. We recommend using Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro command execution.
Since malware is not spread only via spam mail, we also advise downloading from official/verified sources. Furthermore, all programs must be activated and updated by using legitimate functions/tools, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updaters can contain malware.
Another recommendation is to be vigilant when browsing since fraudulent and dangerous online content usually appears genuine and harmless.
We must stress the importance of having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security software must be used to perform regular system scans and to remove threats/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 "Stalled Funds - United Bank Of Africa" spam email letter:
Subject: PAYMENT VERIFICATION PANEL
It is obvious you have been receiving communications from different
source claiming to have authorization to release your stalled funds
valued (USD$6.5 MILLION UNITED STATE DOLLARS)and from my investigation
you have been made to spend so much money on frivolous demand of
different fees and fictitious documents thereby creating avenue to
demand moneys from you while it not suppose to be so,Your overdue
outstanding Payment have received the attention of the Office of the
Presidency on Foreign Payment Matters. Following the Meeting held
today with the Monetary Policy Regulatory Committee,the Federal
Executive council and Presidency , i have been authorized to contact
you for the possible transfer of your approve fund to any of your
account without further delay.
We have noticed that these corrupt officials in charge of foreign
payments are very ruthless and have defrauded so many foreigners we
have also discovered the irregularities in foreign payment files
intentionally masterminded by these officials and urgently called the
attention of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, BOLA AHMED
TINUBI ASIWAJU who came to a resolution that the Federal Government
of Nigeria must pay all amount owed to each of the people whose names
were found in the list till this irregularity has been corrected.
This is to draw your attention to the new development in your stalled
payment which you have struggled to receive without success from
different quarters ,offices and countries, be advised that the payment
of your funds have been approved for immediate Transfer to you,the
Government is not interested in confiscating any foreign payment which
is proven to have been approved genuinely and you are hereby advised
to forward immediately the following.
Your Bank Name/Address:
Your Bank Account No:
Swift Code No:
Your Direct Tel Mobile
Age Occupation :
A Copy of International Passport Driving Licence
As soon as these are received, we shall take legal step to finalize
the hitch free transfer moralities.
Director of Wire Transfer/Telex Dept
UNITED BANK OF AFRICA
Appearance of the "Stalled Funds - United Bank Of Africa" spam email (GIF):
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- What is "Stalled Funds - United Bank Of Africa" 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; any relevant details within these emails can be due to chance or a leftover from where the contact information (e.g., email address, etc.) was scraped. Cyber criminals distribute spam mail in massive campaigns – hence, 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 disclosed your private information (e.g., ID card details, passport scans/photos, credit card numbers, etc.) – immediately contact relevant authorities. And if you've provided your account credentials – change the passwords of all possibly compromised accounts and inform their official support 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; opening/reading an email is not enough to trigger these processes.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
Whether the system was infected might depend on the opened file's format. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes. However, a compromise might have been avoided if it was a document (.doc, .pdf, .xls, .one, etc.). These formats may require additional user interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded files/links, etc.) to jumpstart malware download/installation processes.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to detect and eliminate threats. It can scan computers and remove practically all known malware infections. Keep in mind that performing a complete system scan is essential since sophisticated malicious programs usually hide deep within systems.