Do not trust fake "American Express" emails about changed log-in credentials

Also Known As: "American Express - Username/Password Has Been Updated" phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "American Express - Username/Password Has Been Updated"?

Our inspection of this "American Express - Username/Password Has Been Updated" email revealed that it is fake. The spam letter states that the log-in credentials for the recipient's American Express account have been changed. If they do not recognize this activity – they can keep their old username and password. The purpose of this phishing mail is to trick users into disclosing their log-in credentials.

American Express - Username/Password Has Been Updated email spam campaign

"American Express - Username/Password Has Been Updated" email scam overview

The spam email with the subject "You updated your account password" (may vary) is disguised as a notification from American Express. It states that a request to update their bank account log-in credentials has been received on the specified date. The recipient can recover their old username/password by canceling this request. As a misdirection, the scam email also includes warnings against phishing.

It must be emphasized that the information provided by this letter is false, and this mail is not associated with the real American Express Company (Amex) or any other legitimate entities.

This email includes a link to a phishing site presented as the sign-in page for American Express. Usernames and passwords entered into this webpage are recorded and sent to cyber criminals. Hijacked finance-related accounts can be abused for a variety of nefarious activities, such as making fraudulent transactions or online purchases.

To summarize, by trusting an email like "American Express - Username/Password Has Been Updated" – users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If you have already disclosed your log-in credentials – immediately change the passwords of all possibly compromised accounts and contact their official support. However, it might also be necessary to contact relevant authorities.

Threat Summary:
Name "American Express - Username/Password Has Been Updated" phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Request to change the recipient's account log-in credentials has been received.
Disguise American Express
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

"Commerzbank email scam", "Seeking Partnership Investment", and "Specification For The Item Requested" are merely a couple of our latest articles on phishing campaigns.

Various false claims are used to gain and subsequently abuse recipients' trust. Phishing emails primarily seek log-in credentials (for online banks, e-commerce platforms, digital wallets, emails, social media networks, etc.), personally identifiable information, and finance-related data.

While the commonly held belief that spam letters are full of spelling/grammatical mistakes is not untrue, it is not always the case. These emails can be competently constructed and even convincingly disguised as messages from legitimate companies, service providers, organizations, institutions, and other entities.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns proliferate malware through malicious files, which can be attached to or linked inside the emails/messages. These files can be archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), documents (Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, PDF, etc.), JavaScript, and so on.

Once an infectious file is opened – the malware download/installation chain is initiated. However, some formats require additional actions. For example, Microsoft Office files need users to enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), while OneNote documents require them to click on embedded links or files.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We strongly advise being vigilant with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages. Do not open attachments or links found in dubious/irrelevant mail, as they can be infectious.

However, malware is not distributed only via spam mail. Therefore, be careful while browsing since fraudulent and dangerous online content usually appears legitimate and innocuous.

Furthermore, download only from official and trustworthy channels. Activate and update software using functions/tools provided by genuine developers, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updaters can contain malware.

We must emphasize that having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated is paramount for device/user safety. Security programs must be used to perform 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 "American Express - Username/Password Has Been Updated" spam email letter:

Subject: You updated your account password

Important information about your account.

Your Username/ Passwod Has Been Updated

Dear Card Member.

Your password was reset on May 31, 2024, at 06:04 a.m. ET

If you didn’t request this, Please click on Cancel Request Now to recover password immediately


For security purpose, complete all verification process

Remember, always keep your username and password private.
American Express representatives will never ask you for your password.

Thank you for your Card Membership,

American Express Customer Care

Don't live life without it
Contact Us
Update Your Email
Privacy Statement

Your account information is included above to help you recognize this as a customer care email from American Express. To learn more about email security or report a suspicious email, please visit us at americanexpress.com/phishing . We kindly ask you not to reply to this email but instead contact us via Customer Care.

© 2024 American Express. All rights reserved.

Screenshot of the fake American Express website promoted by this spam campaign:

American Express - Username/Password Has Been Updated scam email promoted phishing site

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?

Regardless of any relevant information that they may include, spam emails are not personal. This mail is sent out in massive operations – therefore, 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 disclosed your account credentials – change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if you've provided personally identifiable or finance-related information (e.g., ID card details, passport photos/scans, credit/debit card numbers, etc.) – immediately contact the corresponding authorities.

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

Reading an email poses no infection threat; devices are compromised when malicious attachments or links are opened/clicked.

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

Whether your device was infected might depend on the opened file's format. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – it was most likely compromised, as these formats cause infections almost without fail. However, you might have avoided this if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .pdf, .one, etc.). Some formats, like documents, may need extra actions (e.g., enabling macros, clicking embedded content, etc.) to initiate infection chains.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to scan computers and eliminate all manner of threats. It can detect and remove most of the known malware infections. Remember that since high-end malicious software typically hides deep within systems – running a complete system scan is crucial.

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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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