What kind of email is "Review These Messages"?
Upon inspecting the "Review These Messages" email, we determined that it is spam. This fake message claims that the recipient needs to verify their account to review pending emails.
It must be stressed that all information provided by this spam letter is false. The aim is to trick recipient into providing their log-in credentials to a phishing website.
"Review These Messages" email scam overview
The spam email with the subject "Undeliverable: You have incoming messages waiting for your action" (may vary) states that two messages have been withheld and are pending review. These incoming emails must be checked out within 24 hours of receiving this notification. It can be done by verifying the email account in the "Security Center". The letter also lists details of the nonexistent messages.
It must be emphasized that all these claims are false, and this mail is in no way associated with any legitimate service providers. The buttons presented in this scam letter redirect to a phishing website mimicking a genuine email account sign-in page. Log-in credentials entered into this site will be recorded and sent to scammers.
The threat exceeds the loss of an email, as the cyber criminals may also hijack the accounts and platforms registered through it.
To elaborate, scammers can steal the owners' identities of socially-oriented accounts (e.g., emails, social networking, social media, messengers, etc.) and ask the contacts/friends/followers for loans or donations, promote scams, and spread malware by sharing malicious links/files.
Furthermore, confidential/compromising content found on hijacked data storage or similar platforms can be used for blackmail or other nefarious purposes. What is more, stolen finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, e-commerce, cryptowallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and online purchases.
To summarize, by trusting an email like "Review These Messages" – users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
If you have already entered your log-in credentials into a phishing site – immediately change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and contact their official support.
|Name||"Review These Messages" phishing email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Recipient is encouraged to verify their email account to review pending messages.|
|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
Spam is used to promote various scams and even to distribute malware. While infamous for being riddled with errors, these emails can be competently disguised as messages from genuine service providers, companies, institutions, authorities, and other entities.
Due to how widespread spam mail is and how well-made it can be – we strongly advise being careful with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When a malicious file is executed, run, or otherwise opened – the infection chain is initiated. Some formats may need additional interaction to jumpstart malware download/installation. For example, Microsoft Office files require users to enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), while OneNote documents need them to click on embedded files or links.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We highly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails and other messages. Attachments or links found in suspect mail must not be opened, as they can be malicious. Another recommendation is to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.
However, malware is spread using various techniques. Therefore, we also advise being vigilant when browsing since fraudulent and harmful content usually appears legitimate and innocuous.
Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified channels. It is just as important to activate and update programs by using genuine functions/tools, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updaters can contain malware.
We must stress that having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated is essential for device integrity and user safety. This 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 "Review These Messages" spam email letter:
Subject: Undeliverable: You have incoming messages waiting for your action
Review These Messages
2 messages are being held for you to review as of 11/13/2023 8:06:15 a.m. (UTC).
Review them within 24 hours of the received date by verifying your email account in the Security Center.
Prevented malware messages
Subject: Eurolever / New Order 10780
Date: 13/11/2023 7:31:50 AM
Review Message Receive Mail
Subject: Re: Proforma - PO#22D-317
Date: 13/11/2023 7:06:07 AM
Review Message Receive Mail
© 2023 Webmail and Outlook Corporation. All rights reserved.
Acceptable Use Policy
Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "Review These Messages" 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 "Review These Messages" 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 emails are not personal. Cyber criminals distribute these messages by the thousand 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 disclosed your log-in credentials – immediately change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support. However, if the provided data was of a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) – contact the appropriate authorities without delay.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, merely opening/reading an email will not trigger any malware download/installation chains. Systems are infected when malicious attachments or links are opened.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
Whether your device was compromised might depend on the opened file's format. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes. However, you might have avoided an infection if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .one, .pdf, etc.). These formats may need extra interaction to initiate system infection processes (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded content, etc.).
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to scan devices and eliminate threats. It can detect and remove nearly all known malware infections. It must be emphasized that running a full system scan is crucial since sophisticated malicious software usually hides deep within systems.