Do not trust fake "Wells Fargo - Account Verification Required" emails

Also Known As: "Wells Fargo - Account Verification Required" phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "Wells Fargo - Account Verification Required"?

After examining the "Wells Fargo - Account Verification Required" email, we determined that it is fake. This spam letter warns that the recipient risks having their bank account suspended if they do not renew their information. This deceptive mail aims to steal victims' online banking accounts through a phishing website. It must be emphasized that this email is fake, and it is not associated with the actual Wells Fargo bank.

Wells Fargo - Account Verification Required email spam campaign

"Wells Fargo - Account Verification Required" email scam overview

The spam email with the subject "Online Banking Alert" (may vary) is presented as a notification from Wells Fargo. It states that the recipient must verify their online bank account. The letter claims that certain information on the account is either missing or incorrect. The data must be updated within two days, else the account will be suspended for security reasons.

As mentioned in the introduction, this email is fake, and it is in no way associated with the real Wells Fargo & Company – an American multinational financial services company.

Clicking the "Update Information" button results in a redirect to a phishing website. It impersonates the Wells Fargo sign-in page. The fake site records log-in credentials and sends them to cyber criminals. This can enable the theft of online banking accounts, which the criminals can then use to make fraudulent transactions and online purchases or carry out other nefarious activities.

In summary, by trusting an email like "Wells Fargo - Account Verification Required" – users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If you have already disclosed your account credentials – change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. It might also be necessary to contact the appropriate authorities due to the sensitivity of the compromised information.

Threat Summary:
Name "Wells Fargo - Account Verification Required" phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipients need to update their information to continue using their banking account.
Disguise Wells Fargo
Related Domains grdinic[.]top
Detection Names (grdinic[.]top) Combo Cleaner (Malware), CRDF (Malicious), CyRadar (Malicious), Fortinet (Malware), G-Data (Malware), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (grdinic[.]top)
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

We have investigated countless spam emails; "Request To Cancel Your Services", "Your Password Changed", and "Virus Activities Were Detected" are merely a couple of our latest articles on phishing campaigns.

These kinds of letters primarily target log-in credentials, personally identifiable details, and finance-related data. Other scams are also promoted through spam, and it is used to proliferate malware.

Due to how prevalent these emails are and how well-made they can be – we strongly recommend treating incoming mail with caution.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns are commonly utilized in malware distribution. Deceptive emails/messages can have malicious files attached to or linked inside them. Infectious files can be archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), documents (Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, PDF, etc.), JavaScript, and so on.

Once opened – a virulent file initiates the malware download/installation chain. However, some formats require additional actions 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 essential to treat incoming emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, and other messages with caution. Attachments or links found in suspect/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be infectious.

It must be stressed that malware is not spread only via spam mail. Therefore, we also advise being vigilant when browsing, as fake and dangerous online content usually appears legitimate and harmless.

Additionally, all downloads must be made from official and verified channels. Software must be activated using legitimate functions/tools, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updates may contain malware.

We must emphasize the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. Security programs must be used to run 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 "Wells Fargo - Account Verification Required" spam email letter:

Subject: Online Banking Alert

Wells Fargo

Account Verification Required !

Dear Customer,

To ensure your safety, some information on your account appears to be missing or incorrect. Kindly update your online banking information promptly so that you can continue to enjoy the benefits of your account. If you don't update your information within 2 days, we'll limit and suspend your account. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by our security measures.

Update Information

Wells Fargo
Please do not reply to this automated email.

Wells Fargo & Company Headquarters: 420 Montgomery St., San Francisco, CA 94104

wellsfargo.com | Prevent Fraud |
Online Security

© 2024 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved.
NMLSR ID 399801

Screenshot of the fake Wells Fargo sign-in page promoted by this spam email:

Wells Fargo - Account Verification Required scam email promoted phishing site

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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?

Spam emails are not personal, even if they include relevant details. This mail is sent out in mass-scale operations – hence, thousands of users receive identical (or incredibly similar) emails.

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 of all possibly compromised accounts and inform official support. And if you've disclosed your other private information (e.g., ID card details, passport scans/photos, credit card numbers, etc.) – contact relevant authorities without delay.

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

No, merely reading an email is harmless. Systems are infected when malicious attachments or 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 device was infected. However, you might have avoided this if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .one, .pdf, etc.). These formats may require extra actions to start downloading/installing malware (e.g., enabling macros, clicking embedded content, etc.).

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and remove most of the known malware infections. Keep in mind that sophisticated malicious software typically hides deep within systems – hence, performing a full system scan is essential.

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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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