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MALWARE WARNING – Beware of Bogus Fax Notification Emails

by Brett M. Christensen

One of the many ways that criminals spread malware is to send bogus emails claiming that the recipient has received a fax.

Faxing might seem like an obsolete technology and you might wonder why online crooks would use fake fax notifications to reach victims. Surprisingly, however, faxing is still commonly used in the business world and a number of companies offer online fax services to customers.

These services allow customers to send and receive faxes via email. So, if someone sends you a fax using such a service, you will receive a notification email. The fax itself can be viewed by opening a file attached to the email or by logging in to the service’s website.

So, criminals regularly use the names and logos of popular online fax services such as eFax, RapidFax, and RingCentral.
Often, the malware is included in a file attached to the emails. Recipients may open the attachments in the mistaken belief that they will get to view the supposed fax. Instead, they may be tricked into installing the malware on their computers.

Other versions may trick people into visiting a website that contains the malware

Many of the latest versions use malicious macros to deliver the malware. The attached files may appear to be innocuous Microsoft Office documents.  If you attempt to open the attached Office file, you will be prompted to enable content, ostensibly so that the “fax” can be properly displayed.  If you follow the instructions, a malicious macro will run in the background. The macro can download and install malware on your computer.

If you receive an unexpected fax notification email, do not open any attachments or click any links that it contains. Instead, log in to the online fax service account by entering the account address into your browser’s address bar.  If you really did receive a fax, you should be able to safely access and view it via the service’s website.

Read More About Macro Malware

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,