How to identify scams like "Switch To New Server"

Also Known As: Switch To New Server phishing campaign
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "Switch To New Server"?

We have examined the email and learned that it is a phishing email disguised as a letter from an email service provider. Scammers crafted this email to extract personal information from unsuspecting recipients. Whoever receives this or a similar email should ignore it to avoid potential harm.

Switch To New Server email scam

More about the "Switch To New Server" scam email

This phishing email is designed to trick recipients into believing that they need to upgrade to a new version of their email provider's service to avoid having their email account locked. It uses an urgent tone and states that there is only 2% of the 50GB account quota left and implies that failure to switch to the new server within 24 hours will result in the account being locked.

It also provides two links labeled "USE OLD VERSION" and "USE NEW VERSION", designed to to redirect users to a phishing website where they are requested to enter their login credentials (email address and password). This phishing page is designed to appear like a legitimate login site.

Usually, scammers misuse stolen email account login credentials to access sensitive information in emails, send phishing emails to contacts, spread malware, and for other malicious purposes. Also, scammers can try to access other accounts linked to stolen email accounts. Moreover, they may use the same login credentials to access social media, gaming, financial, and other accounts.

Additionally, fraudsters may sell the stolen credentials and information gathered from accessed accounts to third parties (potentially other cybercriminals). Thus, it is important to avoid replying to suspicious emails and opening links (or attachments) presented in them.

Threat Summary:
Name Switch To New Server Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient is sill using the old version of the email service provider
Disguise Notification from email service provider
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 typically employ urgent language (e.g., warnings about security breaches). They commonly contain links or attachments that, when opened, can lead to phishing websites or malware downloads. It is also common for emails of this type to impersonate banks, social media platforms, email service providers, or other entities to deceive recipients.

Some examples of phishing emails are "Roundcube Password Set To Expire", "Agreement Update", and "Quote For The Attached Products".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Typically, cybercriminals disseminate malware via email by attaching malicious files (such as executables, MS Office documents, script files, PDFs, or archives) or embedding links in their emails. Malware infiltrates computers upon opening executables, enabling macros in infected documents, or executing malware in other ways.

Malware can also be activated by opening files downloaded from unreliable or compromised websites or through drive-by downloads.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Be careful when dealing with emails that include links or attachments, particularly if they are from unknown sources (addresses). Avoid clicking suspicious advertisements, buttons, or pop-ups on unofficial websites. Download applications and files from legitimate sources such as official websites and app stores.

Refrain from using cracked (pirated) software or tools intended to activate licensed software illegally. Ensure that your operating system, software, and security tools are kept up to date, and conduct regular scans for malware and other threats on your computer. 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 "Switch To New Server" email letter:

Subject: New webmail message

Dear ********

You are still using the old version of ******** email provider. You have 2% of 50GB Of

your account  Quota left , switch to New Server now to avoid email Lock 24 hours from Now



Phishing website utilized in this scam:

Switch To New Server email scam phishing website

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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?

Fraudsters distribute identical messages to numerous individuals, aiming for someone to be deceived by them. Typically, these emails lack personalization.

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

If you provided your email account login credentials on the phishing page in this email, change your password as soon as possible. If you cannot access your account, contact your email service provider. The same applies to all affected accounts.

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

The risk of your computer getting infected depends on the type of file you open. Opening executable files such as .exe files carries a higher risk of malware infection, whereas document files have a lower risk.

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

Unfortunately, it is rarely possible to retrieve funds transferred to scammers, as cryptocurrency transcations are irreversible.

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

Merely opening an email poses no risk on its own. It is opening links within the email (or pening attached files) that can result in system infections.

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

Certainly, Combo Cleaner is adept at identifying and eradicating nearly all recognized malware infections. However, it it important to note that sophisticated malware often conceals itself deeply within the system. As a precaution, conducting a comprehensive system scan is necessary.

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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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