How to identify phishing emails like "Remittance Note"

Also Known As: Remittance Note phishing campaign
Damage level: Medium

What is "Remittance Note"?

We have inspected this email and determined that it is a scam email. It is crafted by scammers with the intention to steal personal information from recipients. The email contains a link disguised as an attachment designed to open a phishing page. Recipients should not respond to such emails or interact with their content.

Remittance Note email spam campaign

More about the "Remittance Note" scam email

This scam email claims to contain a remittance note as the attachment, promising a payment to be reflected in the recipient's account within two days. It instructs the recipient to download the attachment (Remittance_note.pdf) by clicking the "Download to preview" link. However, there is no file attached to this email.

The link provided in this scam email leads to a fraudulent page containing a blurred document in the background and a fake sign-in form requesting an email address and password to view the supposed document. The information entered on this phishing page is sent to scammers who can misuse it for malicious purposes.

Scammers may use stolen credentials to access the victim's accounts to extract sensitive information, like financial details, social security numbers, and other information. Also, scammers may hijack the victim's accounts to send spam, phishing emails, or malicious links to contacts. Moreover, they may sell credentials on the dark web, where other cyber criminals can purchase them.

Overall, the misuse of stolen login credentials poses significant risks to individuals, potentially leading to financial loss, identity theft, and other consequences.

Threat Summary:
Name Remittance Note Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim The payment will reflect on recipient's account within two working days
Disguise Letter regarding a remittance note
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

Typically, phishing emails are designed to trick recipients into disclosing sensitive information, such as login credentials, credit card details, ID card information, or other personal data. These emails often appear to come from legitimate sources and contain urgent requests or enticing offers.

They often include malicious links or attachments. It is important to mention that fraudsters may use such emails to trick users into infecting their computers.

A couple of examples of emails created to steal information are "Last Day To Update Your Password", "Wells Fargo - Card Activity Verification", and "Citrix Attachments".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

When emails are utilized to deliver malware, they harbor harmful attachments or links. Users risk infecting their systems with malware by opening these malicious files or clicking suspicious links. Malicious files can either directly inject malware upon opening or execute malware when the user performs additional steps (e.g. when the user enables macros commands in malicious MS Office documents).

Examples of files used to deliver malware via email are malicious MS Office documents, executables, PDFs, archives (like RAR and ZIP), JavaScript files, and ISO files.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Exercise caution when dealing with unexpected or irrelevant emails containing links or files. Use official web pages and app stores when downloading software and files. Do not interact with ads, pop-ups, buttons, and similar elements on suspicious websites. Also, do not agree to receive notifications from such sites.

Regularly update all applications and your operating system, conduct routine scans for threats, and employ reputable security tools. 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 "Remittance Note" email letter:

Subject: Re: Remittance Note. Ref7389495

Prmissory note (Scanned by the Avast Cloud Engine) Accessories preview
Remittance_note.pdf  (232.30K)
Download to preview

Good morning,

Please find attached remittance note, the payment will reflect on your account in two working days as advised.

Best Regards.

Phishing page presented in this scam email:

Remittance Note Email Scam 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?

You might have received a phishing email because scammers send them out widely, sometimes obtaining email addresses through data breaches or from the dark web. Simply put, these emails are not personal.

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

Immediately change your login credentials and enable two-factor authentication if available. Also, monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity and report the scan to the appropriate platforms.

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

Usually, opening a malicious executable file results in an immediate computer infection, while malicious MS Office documents and similar files typically require additional actions by users to infect systems. In other words, whether your computer is infected depends on the type of file you opened.

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

Simply opening an email does not pose a threat. However, clicking on links within the email or opening attached files can lead to system infections.

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

Combo Cleaner has the capability to identify and eliminate nearly all recognized malware. Running a comprehensive system scan is advised. Given that advanced malware can be concealed, a quick scan may not detect it.

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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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