Remove “Save Yourself Email” Scam
If you suddenly found a suspicious email in your email box, and the author claimed to have access to all your data or malicious software installed on your computer, you are a victim of fraud. Most likely, you were exposed to a “save yourself” email attack.
Previously, we’ve written about another email attack — the Email Bomb. In the article, we explain what it is and how to hide from this type of attack.
The purpose of the “save yourself” attack is to blackmail the user to get a reward. All threats, as a rule, are a bluff. You are simply intimidated, and in reality, the hacker does not have any of your information, and they did not launch a trojan or virus on your computer.
The save yourself email is a fairly complex spam attack that can still be repelled by following the correct steps.
We have prepared a special guide that will tell you more about this type of attack and how to repel it.
If you missed the analysis of another cyberattack, the DDoS attack, it’s high time to find out what it is and how to protect yourself.
What is save yourself email?
The Save yourself email scam involves a short message sent to your inbox. It tells you that your system has been affected by cyber scammers who managed to collect personal information and have your private photos and videos. They require an $800 ransom payment; otherwise, they will share your private content on social media and with everyone connected to you, including friends and family. So this is a shakedown scam, and you have to provide a ransom. Cybercriminals just want to trick you into feeling threatened and giving them money.
As mentioned above, save yourself email scam is designed to deceive people when performing any important task. The short message is intended to convince the user to click on attachments that usually show a link. This information may be used to withdraw deposited Bank money, or links may advertise some malicious content that is nothing more than malware or potentially unwanted software.
Need to Know: Types of Malware you should avoid to protect your computer and data online.
The message text can change and adapt to a specific group of users, but all message schemes have the same main goal: intimidating the user and getting rewarded.
The scheme of operation does not change:
The fraudster sends a message to the user. The message text may include information about a virus’s presence on the user’s device that provided access to all personal data. This data contains both correspondence and account passwords, as well as personal photos and videos.
The next step is to intimidate the user that if they do not pay a certain amount of money, all this data will be publicly available. It is noteworthy that a Bitcoin wallet is used for the transfer, and all transfers are made only in this cryptocurrency.
3 main method of spam distribution
The methods of sending such messages can include 3 variations:
1. Your email was hacked. You are probably using an unreliable password or your email address has been compromised. You can check this through the special “Have I Been Pwned?” website. If you find out that your email has been hacked and others have access to it, you should immediately change your password and not use the same one for all the resources you use.
2. Your email address has been added to the mailing list. Scammers have special lists of accounts that are being attacked. They collect them using special data collection programs. As a rule, these are bots that are installed on certain sites where users need to specify their personal data. The bot reads the addresses and puts them in the list for spamming.
3. Your computer was infected. A few days before the attack, you may have received another suspicious email from an unknown address. As a rule, it will contain an advertising link that will install a virus on your computer that reads your data.
Emails and Messengers: What is Secure Communication? Read the article and choose the best privacy tool for daily usage.
What to do when you are targeted by a save yourself email scam
Let’s imagine that you are the victim of a save yourself email attack. Now we need to figure out what to do. Here’s a quick list of first steps:
- Don’t pay criminals. Most likely, all their actions are fake.
- Delete this email immediately after it gets discovered, as it limits system performance and compromises data security and leads to personal identity theft.
- If the attackers sent you your password in the email, you need to change it immediately.
- Enable two-factor authentication for all services you use.
- If possible, create a new account.
- Run a program that scans your device for malware.
- Install anti-phishing software.
*Note: You can delete any malware that may have been installed on your PC yourself without involving outside experts. Here you can find instructions for both Windows and iOS users.
How to protect yourself from phishing sites?
A reliable way to protect yourself against phishing programs and websites is to use the closed, decentralized Utopia P2P ecosystem. It has a built-in messenger, mail, browser, and more. The advantage of the ecosystem is that it is anonymous, and no one will know your personal data, which is stored on a separate server. Therefore, these types of attacks do not make sense, since access to your data is possible only with a special private key generated for each user individually.
If you want to know all the decentralized system’s pluses, you can read our previous article Decentralized Email: A New Age of Data Security.
You can also use programs to block various phishing programs like AdGuard or any other program that you find on the internet.
Here are more tips on spam protection:
- Beware of unknown suspicious links and avoid clicking on them.
- Don’t download unknown freeware because they usually contain hidden codes with them.
- Don’t download suspicious plug-ins and add-ons that claim to provide additional features for free, but actually download malicious software packages.
- Disable all additional programs that are not used much, such as Active X, suspicious cookies and extensions, etc.
- Delete temporary files, unknown registry entries, cookies, etc. at regular intervals.
Read our Fully-Fledged Guide On Ways to Protect Your Data Online and stay safe from every cyberattack on the net.