Avoid losing your account via fake "DHL Agreement Documents" emails

Also Known As: "DHL Agreement Documents" phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "DHL Agreement Documents"?

Upon inspection of the "DHL Agreement Documents" email, we determined that it is spam. This letter is disguised as a notification from DHL Express – the mail service of the DHL logistics company. It claims to contain copies of documentation as an attachment. However, it is a phishing file targeting email account log-in credentials.

DHL Agreement Documents email spam campaign

"DHL Agreement Documents" email scam overview

The spam email with the subject "Parcel AWB" (may vary) informs the recipient that they have been sent agreement documents regarding a shipment.

As mentioned in the introduction, this letter is fake, and it is not associated with DHL or any other legitimate companies/entities.

The attachment's filename is "CI Documents.pdf.html" (may vary), and while it contains "PDF" – it is an HTML file. This document uses DHL's logo and instructs the user to provide their email password to view and complete tracking details. Information entered into this file is recorded and sent to cyber criminals.

Hence, the exposed account can get hijacked. Additionally, scammers might be able to gain access to content registered through the email. The illegitimately acquired accounts and platforms could be variously misused and lead to victims experiencing severe issues.

To elaborate, cyber criminals can steal the identities of socially-oriented account owners (e.g., emails, social media, social networking, messengers, chats, etc.) and ask the contacts/friends/followers for loans or donations, endorse scams, and spread malware by showing malicious files/links.

Meanwhile, finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, e-commerce, cryptocurrency wallets, etc.) could be used to make fraudulent transactions and online purchases.

To summarize, victims of spam emails like "DHL Agreement Documents" may experience serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If you have already provided your log-in credentials – immediately change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and contact their official support.

Threat Summary:
Name "DHL Agreement Documents" phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Email has shipment-related documents attached to it.
Disguise DHL
Attachment(s) CI Documents.pdf.html
Detection Names Avast (Other:SNH-gen [Phish]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.HTML.Phishing.CEE), ESET-NOD32 (HTML/Phishing.DHL.EH), Lionic (Trojan.HTML.Generic.4!c), Microsoft (Trojan:Script/Phonzy.C!ml), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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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Phishing spam campaign examples

"Oversea Credit Commission", "American Express - Unusual Spending Activities Detected", "Payroll Sheet", and "LOTERIA NAVIDAD 2023" are just a few examples of phishing emails we have investigated recently. These letters can target different data and use varied claims to trick recipients into disclosing it.

It must be mentioned that spam emails are used to facilitate various scams and to proliferate malware. While this mail is infamous for being riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, it may be competently disguised as messages from genuine companies, corporations, organizations, institutions, authorities, and other entities.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns are often used to distribute malware. The emails/messages have infectious files attached to or linked inside them. These files can be in various formats, e.g., documents (Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, PDF, etc.), archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth.

Once opened, a virulent file initiates malware download/installation. However, some formats can require additional user interaction to jumpstart system infection processes. For example, Microsoft Office files need users to enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), while OneNote documents require them to click embedded files or links.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is paramount to treat incoming emails and other messages with the utmost care. We advise against opening attachments or links found in suspicious/irrelevant mail, as they can be malicious. We recommend using post-2010 Microsoft Office versions since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.

However, malware is not distributed only by using spam mail. Therefore, we also advise being vigilant while browsing, as fraudulent and dangerous online content usually appears legitimate and harmless.

Furthermore, all downloads must be made from official and trustworthy sources. Another recommendation is to activate and update software by using genuine functions/tools, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third-party updaters may contain malware.

It is essential to have a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security programs must be used to perform regular system scans and to remove 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 "DHL Agreement Documents" spam email letter:

Subject: Parcel AWB



Dear Customer,

Attached copies of agreement documents as assigned to deliver to you.
Notification for shipment event group "Pick Up" for 7th January, 2024.

AWB Number: 6278216733
Pickup Date: 2024-01-07  14:44:09
Service: Express
Pieces: 2
Description: Agreement & Shipping Documents
Thank you for shipping with DHL Express!
DHL Express – Excellence. Simply delivered
Deutsche Post DHL Group- The Mail & Logistics Group.
GOGREEN – Environmental protection with DHL
Please consider your environmental responsibility before printing this email.

Screenshot of the phishing file attached to the "DHL Agreement Documents" spam email ("CI Documents.pdf.html"):

DHL Agreement Documents scam email promoted phishing file (CI Documents.pdf.html)

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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?

Despite any relevant details that they may include, spam emails are not personal. This mail is distributed in large-scale operations – hence, 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 account credentials – change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. If you have disclosed other private information (e.g., ID card details, passport scans/photos, credit card details, etc.) – immediately contact the corresponding authorities.

I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

Devices are compromised when malicious attachments or links are opened; merely reading/opening an email poses no such threat.

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

Whether your device was infected might depend on the format of the opened file. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes – since these formats cause infections almost without fail. However, you might have avoided compromising the system if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .one, .pdf, etc.). These formats may need extra actions to start downloading/installing malware (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded content, etc.).

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and remove nearly all known malware infections. It must be stressed that performing a complete system scan is crucial since sophisticated malicious programs typically hide deep within systems.

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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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