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Fake Vodafone Bill Emails Contain Malware

by Brett M. Christensen

Inboxes are currently being hammered by ‘bill’ emails purporting to be from mobile phone service provider Vodafone. The brief messages, which are signed by ‘Your Vodafone Team’, contain an invoice number and issue date for a current bill and ask that you pay the bill by a specified date. 

The emails include an attached .zip file that supposedly contains the invoice.

However, Vodafone certainly did not send these emails and the attachment does not contain a phone bill. Instead, the attached .zip file contains a trojan that, once opened, can install further malware on the infected computer.

The malware installed by the trojan may steal personal information such as passwords from the infected computer and send it to cybercriminals. It may also allow criminals to take control of the compromised computer and join it to a botnet.

Details such as the supposed payment date and invoice number may vary in different versions of the malware emails.

Fake bill or invoice notifications that pretend to be from various well-known companies are a very common method of distributing malware. Be wary of any unsolicited email that claims that you must pay or review an invoice by clicking a link or opening an attached file. 

An example of the malware email:

Subject: Fwd: Your Vodafone email bill for 14-03-2015 to 15-04-2015

 

Please pay by 30 Apr 2015

Invoice No. 1111309307
Date of Issue 15 Apr 2015

Thanks
Your Vodafone team

Attachment Name: Download_Bill.zip



Importance Notice

After 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 You

I 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 Date

Hoax-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!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer