What kind of email is "Social Security Statement"?
After investigating this "Social Security Statement" email, we determined that it is fake. This malspam letter is designed to infect recipients' computers with malware. Users are lured into initiating the infection processes through false claims regarding their social security.
"Social Security Statement" email virus overview
The spam email with the subject "Your Latest Statement Summary is now available" (may vary) requests the recipient to review their social security statement. The letter lists the information accessible through it, such as earnings records, retirement benefit estimates, and other important data.
It must be stressed that the information provided by this spam email is false, and this mail is in no way associated with any legitimate governmental or other entities.
Through the file promoted by this letter, users can infect their devices with malware. Malspam is used to proliferate all manner of malicious programs. Various trojans, such as one designed to extract and exfiltrate data, open backdoors for further infections, download/install additional malicious components or programs, record audio/video and other content, inject malignant code into processes, etc.
Scam emails can also spread ransomware – a type of software that encrypts data and/or locks the device's screen in order to demand payment for decryption/ access recovery. Cryptominers that abuse system resources to generate cryptocurrency – these programs are distributed through spam as well.
To summarize, by trusting an email like "Social Security Statement" – users may experience multiple system infections, decreased system performance or failure, data loss, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
If you suspect that your device has already been infected – run a complete system scan with an anti-virus and eliminate all threats.
|"Social Security Statement" malspam
|Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
|Recipient has been sent their social security statement.
|Detection Names (malicious file)
|Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate the victim's computer and remain silent, and thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
|Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software 'cracks'.
|Stolen passwords and banking information, identity theft, the victim's computer added to a botnet.
|Malware Removal (Windows)
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Malspam campaign examples
"Comprobante de Transferencia Bancaria", "KASIKORNBANK email virus", "Bulk Order", "PMR Law Group email virus", "Barclays Payment Advice", and "WebMail Server Manager" are merely some examples of spam emails utilized in malware distribution.
It is pertinent to mention that these emails can also be used to promote various scams like phishing, callback, tech support, sextortion, lottery, inheritance, etc.
Spam mail can be plain and full of errors or be competently disguised as messages from genuine governmental bodies, authorities, service providers, companies, organizations, and other entities.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
However, some formats can need additional user interaction to start downloading/installing malware. 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/links.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We strongly recommend being vigilant 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 infectious. Another recommendation is to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since their "Protected View" mode prevents automatic macro execution.
It must be stressed that malware is not proliferated exclusively via spam mail. Therefore, we also advise being cautious while browsing since fraudulent and dangerous online content typically appears legitimate and innocuous.
Furthermore, all downloads must be made from official and verified channels. What is more, all programs must be activated and updated using functions/tools provided by genuine developers, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third-party updates may contain malware.
It is essential to have a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security software must be used to perform regular system scans and to remove detected 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 "Social Security Statement" spam email letter:
Subject: Your Latest Statement Summary is now available
Your Social Security Statement is streamlined and easier to read than ever before. That is because we have redesigned the Statement to provide you the most useful information up front and at a glance.
We encourage you to check your Statement at least once a year to review:
Your earnings record (to make sure it’s accurate and notify us if you see any errors);
Your personalized monthly retirement benefit estimates (which now display how much you can expect to receive depending on when you decide to start your benefits between ages 62 and 70);
Other useful information that will explain your benefits and help you prepare for your financial future
New fact sheets that provide additional information based on your specific age group and earnings situation.
You can access your new Statement file to your account at :
Password of your protected file is : 3488.
We hope you find your new Statement useful and informative.
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 "Social Security Statement" malspam?
- 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. 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 provided your log-in credentials – change the passwords of all potentially exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if the disclosed information was of a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, passport photos/scans, credit card numbers, etc.) – immediately contact the appropriate authorities.
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/clicked. Opening/Reading an email is harmless.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
Whether your system was infected might depend on the format of the opened file. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes. However, you might have avoided this if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .pdf, .one, etc.). These formats can require additional actions to initiate system infection chains (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded files/links, etc.).
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to scan systems and eliminate threats. It can detect and remove nearly all known malware infections. It must be mentioned that running a complete system scan is crucial since sophisticated malicious software typically hides deep within systems.