How to avoid falling for scams like "ShareFile - Advance Payment Approval"

Also Known As: ShareFile - Advance Payment Approval phishing campaign
Damage level: Medium

What is "ShareFile - Advance Payment Approval"?

We have examined the email and discovered that it is a deceitful message crafted by scammers with the intention of obtaining sensitive information. Such emails are commonly known as phishing emails. The deceptive email poses as a notification concerning a purported final agreement.

ShareFile - Advance Payment Approval email scam

More about the "ShareFile - Advance Payment Approval" scam email

The email, purportedly from Sharefile, informs the recipient that an agreement has been completed and encourages them to review its activity history or download a copy. It claims that all parties have finished the process related to an advance payment approval.

Additionally, it urges the recipient to add "adobesign@adobesign.com" to their address book or safe list to ensure continued receipt of emails. The "Open agreement" button redirects users to a phishing website designed to mimic a Sharefile login page. This fraudulent page prompts users to enter their email address and password, essentially attempting to steal their login credentials.

With access to login credentials obtained through phishing, scammers can hijack the victim's account, gaining unauthorized access to sensitive files and personal information stored within the Sharefile platform.

Furthermore, scammers may use the stolen credentials to distribute malware or conduct further phishing campaigns. They could leverage the victim's compromised account to send malicious links or files to contacts within their network, spreading the scam to a wider audience and potentially causing more damage.

Additionally, access to the victim's email address and password opens the door to potential exploitation of other online accounts. Many users tend to reuse passwords across multiple platforms, so scammers could attempt to log in to other accounts using the same credentials, potentially gaining access to sensitive personal or financial information across various online services.

Threat Summary:
Name ShareFile - Advance Payment Approval Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim An agreement has been completed
Disguise Letter from ShareFile
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 often feature urgent subject lines referencing important matters, with sender addresses that mimic legitimate sources. They urge quick action, often containing grammatical errors, and may request sensitive information under false pretenses. These commonalities serve as warning signs for recipients to be cautious and verify the legitimacy of such emails.

Examples of phishing emails are "SharePoint Editor", "Authentication Request", and "DocuSign - Completed Document". Links and files within fraudulent emails can be used to deliver malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Malware distribution via email remains a prevalent threat vector, with cybercriminals leveraging deceptive tactics to infiltrate systems. In such attacks, malicious software is concealed within email attachments or hosted on websites presented in fraudulent emails. Once activated, the malware can compromise the victim's device.

Common files used in malware distribution via email include executable files (such as .exe), Microsoft Office documents (e.g., .doc, .xls, .ppt), PDF files, compressed archives (e.g., .zip, .rar), and JavaScript files (.js).

How to avoid installation of malware?

In order to safeguard a computer against malware, it is crucial to download software (and files) exclusively from reputable platforms like official websites and app stores. Steer clear of pirated software and cracking tools (or key generators). Exercise caution with email attachments or links, particularly those from unfamiliar senders or exhibiting signs of suspicious content.

Regularly updating the operating system, applications, and antivirus software is also paramount. Moreover, remain vigilant against suspicious links, pop-ups, or ads, especially those on dubious websites. Installing reputable antivirus or anti-malware software and conducting routine system scans adds an extra layer of protection.

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 "ShareFile - Advance Payment Approval" email letter:

Subject: Approved Final Agreement

- Sharefile         

All parties finished
Advance Payment Approval
Open agreement

The agreement is completed:

You can open the final agreement to review its activity history or download a copy for reference.

To ensure that you continue receiving our emails, please add adobesign@adobesign.com to your address book or safe list.

© 2024 - . All rights reserved.

Screenshot of the fake website used in this campaign:

ShareFile - Advance Payment Approval phishing page

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:
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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?

You received a scam email because it is part of a widespread effort by cybercriminals to deceive individuals into providing sensitive information. These scams typically target a large number of recipients (they are not personal).

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

If you have provided your personal information after being tricked by this email, take immediate action to protect yourself. Change any compromised passwords and consider reporting the incident to the relevant institutions/companies/organizations.

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

If the file is executable, it is highly likely that malware is already present on your system. However, if it is a document like a PDF or Word file, you might have dodged infection. Merely opening such documents is not always sufficient for malware to infiltrate your system.

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

Simply opening an email poses no risk on its own. However, clicking on links within the email or opening attached files can result in a system being infected.

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

Combo Cleaner effectively tackles most known malware, but advanced threats can hide deep within your system. So, running a full system scan is essential for thorough 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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