Fake invoice emails that harbour macro malware continue to hit inboxes around the world.
Many are brief messages like the example shown below:
Subject: Paid Invoices
Please read and ask me any questions.
> http:// [removed ]nvoices-Overdue/
Milenko [Surname Removed]
The messages are designed to trick you into clicking a link. If you do click, a seemingly innocuous Microsoft Word document will be downloaded to your computer.
Supposedly, the document contains details about overdue invoices. But, when you attempt to open the Word file, you will be prompted to enable content in order to view the document. The manner in which the “enable content” prompt is displayed may vary. Here is one example:
If you follow the instructions in the message, you may not see any immediate change to the document. However, a malicious macro will run in the background. The macro will download and install various types of malware.
This tactic is often used to distribute ransomware. Once installed, ransomware can lock up the files on your computer and then demand that you pay a fee to online criminals to receive a decryption key.
In other cases, the malware may be designed to steal your online banking passwords and other sensitive personal information.
Such malware attacks are very common. Be wary of any message that claims that you must “enable content” or “enable macros” to view ordinary Microsoft Word documents such as invoices. There is no reason why such documents would need macros enabled.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!