How to avoid falling for scams like "Issue With The Billing Information"

Also Known As: Issue With The Billing Information phishing campaign
Damage level: Medium

What is "Issue With The Billing Information"?

Upon scrutinizing this email, it has been established that it constitutes a fraudulent notification regarding a purported Spotify subscription payment failure. This communication is designed by malicious actors to deceive unsuspecting recipients into divulging personal information and (or) making financial transactions. Such emails fall under the category of phishing emails.

Issue With The Billing Information email spam campaign

More about the "Issue With The Billing Information" scam email

In this email, a purported notification regarding a Spotify subscription payment failure is presented. The email claims that the user's subscription membership has been suspended due to the failure to authorize payment for the next billing cycle while also assuring that the current subscription remains active until its expiration.

The email asserts that there is missing or incorrect information in the recipient's account and encourages them to rectify the situation by clicking a provided button. As stated in the email, this action is intended to update account details and ensure uninterrupted access to music and songs.

However, the analysis indicates that the email is a phishing attempt crafted by scammers with the aim of deceiving recipients into providing personal information.

During the analysis, the website provided in this email was down. Typically, links in such emails lead to fraudulent pages asking to provide login credentials or other information. Scammers exploit stolen login credentials for various malicious purposes.

Once in possession of this sensitive information, they may engage in identity theft, gaining unauthorized access to the victim's personal accounts, financial records, or social media profiles. Moreover, stolen login credentials are often sold on the dark web, contributing to a thriving black market for personal information.

Other cybercriminals may purchase these credentials to conduct further fraudulent activities, such as accessing additional accounts linked to the victim, launching phishing campaigns, or engaging in various forms of online fraud.

Threat Summary:
Name Issue With The Billing Information Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Spotify subscription is suspended
Related Domain bolellilab[.]com
Detection Names (bolellilab[.]com) Avira (Phishing), Combo Cleaner (Phishing), ESET (Phishing), Fortinet (Phishing), Sophos (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Disguise Letter from Spotify team
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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In conclusion, phishing emails consistently rely on urgency, deceptive links, and attempts to mimic legitimate entities to trick recipients into divulging sensitive information. Recognizing common indicators such as urgent language, suspicious links, and generic greetings is crucial for users to protect themselves from falling victim to these deceptive tactics.

By staying vigilant and employing cybersecurity best practices, individuals can minimize the risks associated with phishing emails and safeguard their personal information from malicious actors. Examples of similar campaigns are "Purchase Order And Tax Invoice", "Final Price Email", and "Privacy Policy".

It is important to know that cybercriminals can use email to trick unsuspecting recipients into infecting their computers with malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Emails used to deliver malware contain malicious links or attachments that, when clicked or opened, can execute malware on the recipient's computer. Malicious or compromised websites can infect computers through drive-by downloads.

Threat actors often use malicious executable files, infected documents (such as PDF or Microsoft Office), ISO files, JavaScript files, and compressed archives (like ZIP or RAR files) to distribute malware. Opening malicious files does not necessarily result in computer infections. For example, malicious MS Office documents infect computers when users enable macros commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Keep software and operating systems updated, use reputable antivirus software, and exercise caution when clicking links or downloading email attachments. Avoid visiting suspicious websites and interacting with ads, pop-ups, or similar content on them. Download files and apps from reliable sources (official websites and app stores).

Avoid downloading pirated software or tools designed to bypass activation. Stay informed about the latest security 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 "Issue With The Billing Information" email letter:

We recently detected an issue with the billing information associated with your Account.
We could not authorize your payment for the next billing cycle of your subscription therefore we've suspended your membership. But your current subscription is active until it expires.

Some information on your account appears to be missing or incorrect.

Obviously we'd love to have you back, simply click the button below to update your details and continue to enjoy all the best Music & Songs without interruption.
Login To Get Started
The team

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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?

Crooks send identical letters to thousands of individuals, aiming for someone to be deceived. These spam emails lack personalization and are designed to cast a wide net in the hope of finding unsuspecting victims.

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

If you have shared any account credentials, promptly update all passwords. In the case of divulging other information, such as credit card details, social security numbers, or ID card information, contact the relevant authorities at your earliest convenience.

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

The risk of infection is significantly higher if the file is an executable. However, when dealing with document files such as .pdf or .doc, there is a possibility that you escaped infection, as in some cases, merely opening the document may not lead to malware infiltration into the system.

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

Merely opening an email poses no threat by itself. System infections typically occur when users click on links embedded within the email or open attached files.

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

Combo Cleaner possesses the capability to detect and eradicate practically all known types of malware. It is crucial to highlight that advanced malware might hide extensively within the system, emphasizing the necessity of conducting thorough system scans to ensure successful 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.

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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