Avoid getting scammed by fake "A Team Member Shared An Item" emails

Also Known As: "A Team Member Shared An Item" phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "A Team Member Shared An Item"?

After examining the "A Team Member Shared An Item" email, we learned that it is spam. This mail aims to deceive recipients into disclosing their email account log-in credentials to a phishing site – disguised as a sign-in page – by claiming they must do so to access a document sent to them.

A Team Member Shared An Item email spam campaign

"A Team Member Shared An Item" email scam overview

The spam email with the subject "A colleague shared an item with you" (may vary) states that the recipient's team member has sent them a document. The letter then lures the recipient into clicking the "Open Document Here" button to access the nonexistent file.

It must be mentioned that all the information in this email is false, and this mail is not associated with any real individuals or entities.

The button in this letter redirects to a phishing website presented as an email account sign-in page. Sites of this kind record the information provided to them. Hence, users can have their emails stolen by entering their log-in credentials into this webpage.

The unauthorized access can be variously misused. Emails, especially work emails, typically contain incredibly sensitive information. Hijacking an email might also open an avenue for gaining control over the accounts and platforms registered through it.

To expand upon this, cyber criminals can steal the identities of accounts owners (e.g., emails, social media, social networking, messengers, chats, etc.) and request loans or donations from contacts/friends/followers, promote scams, and spread malware by sharing malicious files or links.

Stolen finance-related accounts (e.g., e-commerce, digital wallets, money transferring, online banking, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and online purchases.

To summarize, victims of scam mail like "A Team Member Shared An Item" can experience serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If you have entered your log-in credentials into a phishing website – immediately change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and contact their official support.

Threat Summary:
Name "A Team Member Shared An Item" phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient's colleague sent them a document.
Related Domains privates1[.]shop
Detection Names (privates1[.]shop) Combo Cleaner (Malware), CRDF (Malicious), Dr.Web (Malicious), ESET (Phishing), VIPRE (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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

"Department Of Treasury - Compensation Funds", "Your Statement Reviewed And Paid", "Secured Document", "Account Password Needs To Be Reset", and "Chase - Access Restricted" are just some examples of phishing campaigns that we have investigated recently.

Aside from log-in credentials, these emails commonly target personally identifiable information and finance-related data. However, various scams are promoted through spam mail, and it is also used to distribute malware.

These emails are often shoddily put together and full of errors, but they can also be competently made and even believably disguised as messages from legitimate entities (e.g., companies, service providers, organizations, institutions, authorities, etc.).

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns are one of the most prevalent methods of distributing malware. Spam emails/messages can include malicious files as attachments or download links. These files come in various formats, e.g., documents (PDF, Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, etc.), archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth.

Once opened, an infectious file triggers the malware download/installation process. However, some formats may need additional user interaction to jumpstart system infection chains. For example, Microsoft Office files require users to enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), while OneNote documents need them to click on embedded links or files.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is essential to exercise caution with incoming emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, and other messages. Attachments or links found in suspicious/irrelevant mail must not be opened, as they can be harmful or virulent.

It must be mentioned that malware is not proliferated only through spam mail. Therefore, we recommend vigilance while browsing, as fraudulent and malicious online content usually appears legitimate and harmless.

Furthermore, all downloads must be made from official and verified sources. Another recommendation is to activate and update programs using genuine functions/tools, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updates may contain malware.

We must emphasize the importance of having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats. 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 "A Team Member Shared An Item" spam email letter:

Subject: A colleague shared an item with you

A team member shared an item

******** has shared the following item:


Open Document Here

If you don't want to receive files from this person, block the sender from Drive

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted by the "A Team Member Shared An Item" spam campaign:

A Team Member Shared An Item 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?

Spam emails are not personal, even if they include details relevant to the recipients. Any such information is most likely acquired through publicly available sources or phishing scams. Cyber criminals send out these emails in large-scale operations – hence, thousands of users receive identical (or incredibly similar) messages.

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

If you have provided your account credentials – change the passwords of all possibly compromised accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if you have disclosed other private information (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) – immediately contact the corresponding authorities.

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

Systems are infected when malicious attachments or links are opened/clicked; reading an email poses no such threat.

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

Whether the device was compromised might depend on the opened file's format. Executables (.exe, run, etc.) cause infections almost without fail (once opened). While some other formats – like documents (.doc, .xls, .one, .pdf, etc.) – may need extra actions to begin downloading/installing malware. Hence, the infection chain is only triggered after the necessary actions are completed, such as enabling macro commands, clicking embedded content, etc.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to scan systems and remove all manner of threats. It can detect and eliminate most of the known malware infections. Remember that sophisticated malicious programs usually hide deep within systems – therefore, performing 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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