How to identify scam emails like "We Have Full Access To Your Device"

Also Known As: We Have Full Access To Your Device scam campaign
Damage level: Medium

What is "We Have Full Access To Your Device"?

In the course of our review, it has been identified that this is a scam email designed to exploit fear and intimidation. The email adopts a threatening tone, emphasizing financial motives and threatening irreversible consequences if the recipient fails to comply with specified instructions.

We Have Full Access To Your Device email spam campaign

More about the "We Have Full Access To Your Device" scam email

The email claims that the sender has gained full access to the recipient's device and all personal information. It asserts that all files are encrypted and being monitored, warning that failure to comply with instructions will result in permanent loss of data.

The email includes instructions for the recipient to pay $3,500 worth of Bitcoin or Ethereum to specified wallets for the safe release of their device and files. The sender attempts to instill fear by warning against any attempts to restore files independently or involve third-party solutions, claiming that such actions may lead to further damage and public exposure of the data for sale.

This email exhibits the classic characteristics of a scam. Scammers behind it attempt to scare recipients into paying a ransom. It is crucial to exercise caution and avoid responding to such emails and sending cryptocurrency to the provided wallets. Recipients are advised to report such emails as spam or phishing to an email provider and local authorities.

Threat Summary:
Name We Have Full Access To Your Device Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim The sender has accessed a computer and encrypted files
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address bc1qu0ywjzjjva5ag2qgmzf2r8q9qxg867f32h8v2x (BTC), 0xe0a1Bb3609D52837294605e7Bc598B7a1A943bBE (ETH)
Ransom Amount $3,500
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

Scam emails typically share common characteristics, including a sense of urgency to prompt swift action, the use of threats or fear tactics to manipulate recipients, noticeable spelling and grammar errors, requests for sensitive information or financial transactions, and generic greetings lacking personalized information.

Recognizing these patterns can help individuals identify and avoid falling victim to fraudulent schemes. More examples of scams carried out via email are "Purchase Order And Tax Invoice", "Final Price", and "Mail Client Manual Settings". It is important to note that emails are often used to deliver malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Computer infections via email typically occur through malicious attachments or links within seemingly innocuous emails. In most cases, an email contains an attachment that, when opened, executes a code that injects malware into the user's computer. These attachments may be disguised as legitimate files, such as MS Office documents or PDFs, but actually harbor harmful payloads.

Additionally, emails can include links that, when clicked, direct users to untrustworthy pages hosting malware or trigger malicious drive-by downloads.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Exercise caution when dealing with emails, especially those from unknown or unexpected senders, and avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments within such emails. Regularly update the installed software and the operating system. Employ reputable antivirus and anti-malware software.

Do not trust ads, pop-ups, and similar content on shady pages. Never allow suspicious pages to show notifications. Avoid downloading software from unofficial pages, especially pirated software, cracking tools, and key generators.

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 "We Have Full Access To Your Device" email letter:



It may interest you to know that we have full access to your device and all your information data.
All your files are encrypted and we are monitoring everything you do right now.
The only way you can be free from us and get you device and data back safely if by following our instructions.
Otherwise, you cant return your data (NEVER) and will regret it everyday.

Its just a business. We absolutely do not care about you and your deals, except getting benefits. If we do not do our work and liabilities - nobody will cooperate with us. Its not in our interests to keep your files or information data. We will crash your device and sell your Data in the puplic space if you fail to comply with us.
To check the ability of returning files, we decrypt one file for free. That is our guarantee.
If you will not cooperate with us it does not matter, but you will lose your device and data.
We are aware that your data is worth more than the fee we are asking for, when we put it up for sale in the public space.

a) SEND 3,500 USD worth of Bitcoin (BTC) Ethereum (ETH) to any of the wallets provided bellow and your device and files will be decrypted and released to you immediately.

b) BTC WALLET ADDRESS: bc1qu0ywjzjjva5ag2qgmzf2r8q9qxg867f32h8v2x

c) ETH WALLET ADDRESS: 0xe0a1Bb3609D52837294605e7Bc598B7a1A943bBE

!!! DANGER !!!
DON'T try to change files by yourself, DON'T use any third party software for restoring your data or antivirus/edr solutions - its may entail damage of the private key and, as result, The Loss all data and your device will crash.
Any interference by a third party companies/individuals is tantamount to uploading you data on the public domain for sale, which ofcourse will
earn us a reasonable amount of money.
ONE MORE TIME: Its in your interests to get your files back from our side, we (the best specialists) make everything for restoring, but  you should not play smart.
!!! !!! !!!

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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?

Scammers often send such messages to a large number of recipients in the hope that some individuals will fall for their tactics. These emails are generic and rarely include some personal details.

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

If you have provided personal information in response to a suspicious email, take immediate action to protect yourself. Change passwords for relevant accounts, monitor your financial statements for any unauthorized activity, and consider contacting your bank or credit card company to report the incident.

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

In the event that the file was an executable, the risk of infection is quite significant. On the other hand, if it happened to be a document file, like .pdf or .doc, there is a possibility that you sidestepped the infection, as merely accessing such documents is not always enough for malware to breach the system.

Was my computer actually hacked and does the sender have any information?

The claim in the email is a bluff. The sender has not accessed your computer or encrypted files.

I have sent cryptocurrency to the address presented in such email, can I get my money back?

Recovering cryptocurrency sent to a scam address is extremely difficult. Contact law enforcement, report the incident to the platform used for the transaction, and seek professional advice, but the chances of retrieval are low.

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

Merely opening an email poses no threat on its own. The potential for system infections arises when one clicks on links embedded in the email or opens attached files.

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

Combo Cleaner can detect and eradicate virtually all known malware infections. It is crucial to acknowledge that advanced malware tends to conceal itself deeply within the system. Therefore, performing a thorough system scan is imperative to ensure security.

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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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