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New York City Parking Fines Payment Malware Email


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Outline

Email purporting to be from the NYC Department of Finance thanks you for paying $7900 in parking fines via your credit card and suggests you open an attached file to view details.

Beware Malware



Brief Analysis

The email is not from the NYC Department of Finance or any legitimate entity. The claim that a large payment has been made from your credit card is a lie designed to trick you into opening the attachment. The attachment contains malware.

   

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Example

Subject: Thank you for your payment

This is confirmation that your payment on Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:31:02 +0000 for USD 7900.00 has been accepted by the NYC Department of Finance. Your Credit Card statement will show an entry from Parking Fines NYCGOV. Please read the attachment and save it in case you have any questions about the items that you have paid.

Name: sol chaimovits

Payment Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:31:02 +0000
Receipt Number: WWW81733157
Payment Amount: USD 7900.00
Credit Card: Visa
Account ending in: 3501

Your payment was for the following items:
Agency Item

Amount

PVO 1160025162
USD 3000.00
PVO 7247746580
USD 4500.00
DOF Convenience Fee
USD 400.00

Thank you for using New York City's website to process your payment.

Please do not reply to this email. You may contact us by visiting
http://nycserv.nyc.gov/NYCServWeb/ContactUs.html if you have questions or need further assistance.


Detailed Analysis

'NYC Department of Finance' Email Thanks You for Your Payment

This email, which claims to be from the NYC Department of Finance, thanks you for a recent payment and confirms that USD 7900.00 has been charged to your credit card. The email suggests that the payment was to cover parking fines and was paid via New York City's website.

It instructs you to read a file contained in an attachment to view more information about the payment.

Email is Fake - Attachment Contains Malware

However, the email is not from the NYC Department of Finance or any legitimate organization. And, the attachment does not contain payment information.

Opening the attached .zip file will reveal a malicious .exe file. If you then click the .exe file, malware may be installed on your computer. The exact type of malware varies. The malware may steal banking passwords and other sensitive information from your computer and send it to criminals. Or, it may install ransomware on your computer. Once installed, the ransomware can lock all the files on your computer and then demand that you pay a fee to online criminals to have the files released.

This type of attack attempts to panic people into opening an attachment without due caution because they think that their credit card has been used fraudulently. People may mistakenly believe that their accounts have been compromised or their identity has been stolen and therefore open the attachment in the hope of discovering more information.

If you receive one of these emails, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.

Details such as payment amounts and dates may vary in different versions of the messages.


©Depositphotos.com/eldadcarin


Last updated: February 20, 2015
First published: February 20, 2015
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Thank you for your payment – fake PDF malware