What kind of email is "KYC (Know Your Customer) Verification"?
Our investigation of this "KYC (Know Your Customer) Verification" email revealed that it is spam. This fake message encourages recipients to undergo a KYC (Know Your Customer) verification process in order to secure their cryptocurrency wallets.
"KYC (Know Your Customer) Verification" email scam overview
The spam email with the subject "KYC Verification" (may vary) states that to continue using their digital wallet, the recipient must complete the Know Your Customer (KYC) verification. By complying, the user will be able to continue storing, withdrawing, and transferring their digital assets without any interruptions. KYC also ensures better protection from fraud and other threats/issues.
As mentioned in the introduction, this email is fake, and it is in no way associated with any legitimate service providers or other entities.
At the time of research, "KYC (Know Your Customer) Verification" promoted a website running a variant of the "METAMASK" scam. More information can be found in our article on this scam. The end goal of this particular scheme is to gain access to victims' MetaMask wallets and steal the funds stored therein. Note that this spam campaign could be used to promote other cryptocurrency-centered scams.
To summarize, victims of spam mail like "KYC (Know Your Customer) Verification" can experience significant financial loss. It is pertinent to mention that due to the practically untraceable nature of cryptocurrency transactions – they cannot be reversed. Hence, victims are unable to return their assets.
|"KYC (Know Your Customer) Verification" spam email
|Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
|Recipient must complete the KYC (Know Your Customer) verification process to continue using their digital wallet.
|Detection Names (webappfx[.]gq)
|Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
|Serving IP Address (webappfx[.]gq)
|Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords.
|Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
|Malware Removal (Windows)
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Cryptocurrency-targeting spam campaign and online scam examples
We have analyzed thousands of spam emails; "LEDGER SECURITY", "MetaMask", "Binance", "How I Earned Bitcoins" – are just a few examples of ones endorsing cryptocurrency-related scams. Likewise, we have investigated countless online scams targeting cryptowallets and digital assets; some of our newest finds include – "Macxmusk Crypto Exchange", "Claim Manta", "FTX Customer Claims", and "MASA Token Distribution".
It is noteworthy that other schemes are facilitated through spam mail as well. Additionally, deceptive emails are used to proliferate malware.
Due to how prevalent spam mail is and how well-made it can be – we highly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
Upon being opened, an infectious file triggers the malware download/installation process. Some formats may need additional actions to initiate system infection chains. 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?
It is essential to be careful with incoming emails and other messages. Attachments or links present in dubious/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be harmful. We advise using post-2010 Microsoft Office versions since their "Protective View" mode prevents automatic macro execution.
However, it must be mentioned that malware is not distributed exclusively through spam mail. Therefore, we recommend being vigilant while browsing, as fraudulent and malicious online content usually appears legitimate and harmless.
Additionally, all downloads must be made from official and verified sources. Another recommendation is to activate and update programs using genuine functions/tools, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third-party updates may contain malware.
We must emphasize the importance of having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. Security software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats. 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 "KYC (Know Your Customer) Verification" spam email letter:
Subject: KYC Verification
We want to inform you that to continue using our wallet service, it is imperative to complete the KYC (Know Your Customer) verification. KYC verification is of paramount importance in ensuring that our services are exclusively provided to legitimate customers.
By successfully undergoing the KYC verification process, you will gain the capability to securely store, withdraw, and transfer your funds without any interruptions. Furthermore, this enhances our ability to protect you from fraud and various security threats.
We strongly encourage you to initiate and complete the KYC verification process without delay.
Thank you for understanding. Sincerely
All rights reserved
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Screenshot of the scam website promoted by the "KYC (Know Your Customer) Verification" spam campaign:
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 "KYC (Know Your Customer) Verification" spam email?
- 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 campaigns – 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 – immediately change the passwords/passphrases of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support. However, if you've disclosed other private information (e.g., ID card details, passport photos/scans, credit card numbers, etc.) – contact the corresponding authorities without delay.
I have lost cryptocurrency to the scam promoted by this email, can I get my money back?
No, retrieving stolen cryptocurrency is virtually impossible due to the very nearly untraceable nature of these transactions.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, opening/reading an email will not trigger any malware download/installation chains. Devices are infected when malicious attachments/links are opened.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
If the opened file was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes – the system was compromised. However, you might have avoided the infection if it was a document (.doc, .pdf, .xls, .one, etc.). These formats might need additional user interaction to jumpstart infection processes (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded files/links, etc.).
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of detecting and eliminating nearly all known malware infections. Note that since high-end malicious software typically hides deep within systems – running a full system scan is essential.