How to identify scams like the fake "Crédit Agricole" email

Also Known As: Fake email from Crédit Agricole
Damage level: Medium

What is the "Crédit Agricole" email scam?

We have inspected this email and concluded that its goal is to extract personal information from unsuspecting recipients. The email described in our article masquerades as a notification from Crédit Agricole, a legitimate French international banking group. Such fraudulent emails are referred to as phishing emails.

Crédit Agricole email spam campaign

More about the fake "Crédit Agricole" notification

This phishing email is written in French. It claims to be urgent and related to the PSD2 regulations, suggesting that the recipient's website and mobile banking app need to comply with new authentication requirements. It states that access now requires a code received by SMS or strong authentication and urges the recipient to activate their phone number by clicking a link provided in the email.

The email also states that failure to activate their number may result in loss of access to their account. During our inspection, the link in this email did not work. However, phishing emails are usually created to extract login credentials (e.g., usernames and passwords), credit card details, ID card information, or other details.

It is also possible that scammers behind the phishing email described in this article may attempt to trick recipients into transferring money (e.g., they may claim that it is required to pay some "administration" fees). Overall, falling for such emails may lead to identity theft, financial loss, and other issues.

Therefore, it is important for individuals to remain vigilant and verify the legitimacy of such emails before taking any action (opening links, files, or providing information).

Threat Summary:
Name Crédit Agricole Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipients must confirm their mobile phone numbers
Disguise Letter from Crédit Agricole
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

Most phishing emails are disguised as notifications, warnings, or other urgent letters from real organizations, companies, or other entities. It is common for such emails to include real logos or other elements to appear legitimate. Typically, scammers behind these emails try to steal sensitive information. However, emails can also be used for other malicious purposes (e.g., to deliver malware).

Examples of phishing campaigns delivered via email are "Error In Your IMAP/POP3 Mails Server", "Mailbox Update", and "Wells Fargo - Account Verification Required".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Cybercriminals behind emails employed to distribute malware send malicious links or files (attachments) to users. Malware can infiltrate systems upon opening those links or attachments. However, this process often involves additional actions, like opening files downloaded from malicious sites or enabling macros commands in malicious MS Office documents.

Either way, computers cannot become infected via email without opening malicious files or pages. Typically, threat actors use malicious MS Office documents, PDFs, archives, executables, ISO files, and script files to distribute malware.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Always examine emails before opening files or links in them, especially when emails are unexpected and (or) sent from unknown addresses. Do not download pirated software, cracking tools, key generators, and similar programs. Stick to official websites and app stores when downloading software and files.

Avoid clicking ads, pop-ups, and buttons on shady sites (or notifications sent from web pages of this kind). Regularly update the operating system and installed programs, and utilize a reputable antivirus or anti-malware tool. 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 fake "Crédit Agricole" email (written in French):

Crédit Agricole


Votre site internet et l'application mobile ma Banque évoluent en conformité avec la réglementation européenne DSP2. Elle prévoit, la mise en place d'une authentification forte, c'est-à-dire une vérification de votre identité.

Ainsi, à compter d'aujourd'hui, l'accès à votre espace client et l'application mobile Ma Banque requiert un code reçu par sms ou une authentification forte SécuriPass.

Pour pouvoir utiliser vos comptes en ligne, veuillez activer votre numéro de téléphone en cliquant ci-dessous.
j'active mon numéro mobile

NB: Vous devez fournir votre numéro de téléphone portable pour maintenir votre connexion à votre compte.

©Crédit Agricole 2024
Au Crédit Agricole, bénéficiez gratuitement du service d’authentification forte « SécuriPass» en installant l’application « Ma Banque» sur votre appareil mobile.

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?

In most cases, fraudsters obtain email addresses through data breaches and public directories or purchase them on the dark web. They send identical emails to all recipients. In other words, their emails do not contain any personal information like names or surnames that can be associated with recipients.

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

Change the passwords for any accounts that may have been compromised. Also, report the phishing attempt to the relevant authorities, such as your email provider, bank, police, or other entity.

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

It depends on the file type. If the file was an executable, then it is highly likely. However, if it was a document like a PDF or Word file, there is a chance you may have avoided malware infiltration.

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

Emails can be read without causing any harm. Malware cannot infiltrate systems without opening malicious attachments or links.

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

Combo Cleaner can detect and remove nearly all known malware infections. It is important to know that sophisticated malware often hides deeply within the system. Consequently, 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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