How to identify phishing scams like "Purchase Order And Tax Invoice"

Also Known As: Purchase Order And Tax Invoice phishing campaign
Damage level: Medium

What is "Purchase Order And Tax Invoice"?

Upon careful analysis, it has been found that this is a common phishing scheme wherein fraudsters employ email as a means to obtain sensitive information from unsuspecting individuals. In this specific instance, scammers utilize a message camouflaged as a notification related to a purchase order.

Purchase Order And Tax Invoice email spam campaign

More about the "Purchase Order And Tax Invoice" scam email

This phishing email bears the subject line "Re: MULTI-IMPACT RFQ/INQUIRY ORDER SGNR000087999". The message is designed to deceive the recipient into thinking it pertains to a legitimate business transaction. It claims to contain an attached copy of a confirmed purchase order, urging the recipient to review it for reference and take necessary action.

To add an air of authenticity, the sender instructs the recipient to sign and stamp the purchase order and return it promptly. Additionally, the email requests the recipient to submit a copy of the Tax Invoice for payment processing. The email concludes with a "Click To View" link, intending to lead the recipient to a phishing website.

The fraudulent webpage employed in this campaign replicates an authentic Yahoo (and potentially other) sign-in page. Its objective is to entice users into divulging their email account login credentials, including email addresses and passwords.

Once scammers successfully obtain email account login credentials, they exploit them to access the victim's email account, enabling scammers to scour the inbox for sensitive information. They may gather personal details, financial data, or even access password reset emails to compromise other accounts linked to the victim's email.

Furthermore, scammers often leverage the stolen credentials to launch phishing attacks on the victim's contacts. Also, scammers can try to use the extracted login credentials to access other accounts (e.g., social media accounts).

Thus, it is crucial for recipients to exercise caution, verify the legitimacy of such communications, and refrain from clicking on any links or providing personal information without proper verification.

Threat Summary:
Name Purchase Order And Tax Invoice Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim The email has a confirmed PO attached to it
Disguise Letter regarding a purchase order
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)

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Similar scam emails in general

Phishing emails are misleading messages crafted to deceive recipients into disclosing sensitive information, including passwords or financial details. Typically posing as trustworthy entities, these emails contain fake links or attachments that, when interacted with, lead to fraudulent websites or malware installations.

It is recommended that users practice vigilance, confirm the authenticity of emails, and avoid clicking on dubious links to reduce the risks linked to phishing attacks. Examples of phishing campaigns are "Restore Incoming Messages", "Final Price", and "Mail Client Manual Settings".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Infecting systems through email can occur when users open malicious attachments or engage with harmful links. For instance, a seemingly innocuous document attachment may be an executable file that installs malware upon opening. Similarly, clicking on links within emails can lead users to fraudulent websites intended to initiate malware downloads.

Various file types serve as carriers for malware in email delivery, including MS Office and PDF documents, ISO files, compressed archives (like .zip and .rar), executables, and JavaScript files. Computer infections can manifest through different mechanisms, such as executing the contents of archive files or enabling macro commands (editing) in infected documents.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Ensure the utilization and regular updating of a trustworthy antivirus or anti-malware program. Keep your operating system and software applications up to date by installing the latest updates. Obtain software, apps, and files exclusively from official and reputable sources, refraining from downloading pirated software or utilizing P2P networks, third-party downloaders, etc.

Exercise caution with emails from unfamiliar senders, especially those that seem suspicious or irrelevant; refrain from opening files and links within such emails. Be cautious about clicking on pop-ups and ads, particularly on questionable websites. Conduct routine malware scans on your computer to identify and eliminate potential threats.

If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Purchase Order And Tax Invoice" email letter:


Dear -,

Find the attached copy of the confirmed purchase order for your reference and necessary action.

Please sign and stamp the PO and send it back to us along with  a copy of the Tax  Invoice  for payment processing.

Click To View

Thank you and best regards,

Phishing website included in this email:

Purchase Order And Tax Invoice email scam phishing page

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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?

This email exemplifies a common tactic used by scammers who send out identical messages to a broad audience, expecting that at least one recipient will be deceived. It is crucial to highlight that these emails lack any personalization and are intentionally designed to be generic.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by this email, what should I do?

If you have revealed your email credentials (address and password), act promptly. Change all associated passwords, especially if other accounts use the same or similar login details.

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

The likelihood of infection is high if the file in question is executable (.exe) because these files can run code on a computer, potentially introducing malware. Conversely, if the file is a document (e.g., PDF or DOC), the risk of infection is generally lower. Standard document files typically do not execute malicious code upon opening.

I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?

Merely opening an email is typically safe. The potential risk emerges when recipients engage with the content within the email.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Combo Cleaner possesses the capability to detect and eliminate a broad spectrum of malware. It is essential to note that sophisticated malware may hide deeply within the system, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive system scan to ensure effective detection and removal.

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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.

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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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