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Thread: I need help - is this email a scam?

  1. #1
    squakie is offline I Ubuntu, Therefore, I Am
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    I need help - is this email a scam?

    I recevved an email in my junk folder today but it said it was about Court Notice Chicago for Jan 14 and all it had was an attachment. The attachment was a zip file of some sort but Ubuntu's default handler couldn't open the file.

    I copied it to a flash drive, booted a small Windows XP installation I have, turn off all network connections, then let Windows unzip the file. The result was a single file:

    Court_Notice_Chicago_McDermott_Will_and_Emmery

    Microsoft Security Essentials found nothing for the file.

    Hovering over the file shows:

    Setup PDF Watermark Creator
    Cool PDF Software, Inc

    When I checked the properties for the file it said the size was 159kb and type was application.

    Not knowing if I'm being sued or something, I clicked the file. My computer rattled around for a while, then Microsoft Security Essentials said it had found and was fixing something. After all of that, no new documents, nothing on the desktop, zilch.

    I ran a scan with SuperAntiSpyware and it reported nothing found.

    I've sent an email as it turns out those names are a law firm in Chicago.

    However, since nothing showed up on my computer, I don't know what to do.

    Has anyone heard of any type of scam/virus/trojan being disguised in this way?

    Thank you very much!

  2. #2
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    Re: I need help - is this email a scam?

    Scam. That sort of thing is always sent snail mail.

    I'd gather up every anti-virus tool I had and start scanning.
    Last edited by QIII; December 27th, 2013 at 04:00 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: I need help - is this email a scam?

    If I get a dodgy email, I look at the source. Ctrl-U in Thunderbird and Firefox; not sure what it is in other programs. That will tell you where it originally came from, along with a lot of other stuff.

    Did it originate from the law firm? Or, as I've often found, was the original address something that has nothing to do with where the email is supposed to be coming from?

    From what I've heard, pdf files are quite capable of containing malware. No doubt someone else more knowledgeable will chime in and confirm that.

    Edit: I would think that kind of thing, when genuine, would be sent by registered mail (or whatever it's called where you live).
    Last edited by Irihapeti; December 27th, 2013 at 04:02 AM.
    Please, people, remember to BACKUP before you install that new system. Same if you're upgrading.

  4. #4
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    Re: I need help - is this email a scam?

    Just my opinion - I don't think the court system uses email as official notice... yet.
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  5. #5
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    Re: I need help - is this email a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Irihapeti View Post
    Edit: I would think that kind of thing, when genuine, would be sent by registered mail (or whatever it's called where you live).
    This. Does Ctrl +U show headers in Thunderbird?
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  6. #6
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    Re: I need help - is this email a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesA View Post
    This. Does Ctrl +U show headers in Thunderbird?
    Ctrl+U shows the entire email source, which includes headers.

    You can also use "view->headers->all" when reading a message, but I prefer not to load a message if I'm not sure what it is.
    Please, people, remember to BACKUP before you install that new system. Same if you're upgrading.

  7. #7
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    Re: I need help - is this email a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by Irihapeti View Post
    Ctrl+U shows the entire email source, which includes headers.

    You can also use "view->headers->all" when reading a message, but I prefer not to load a message if I'm not sure what it is.
    Sweet! I've been doing the view > headers > all thing, but sometimes I forget to change it back to "normal" and print an entire page of headers on accident...
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  8. #8
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    Re: I need help - is this email a scam?

    Quote Originally Posted by QIII View Post
    Scam. That sort of thing is always sent snail mail.
    or a guy with a badge comes to the door.

    The court system won't send you email's unless you initiate it.
    Like most government agencies.
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  9. #9
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    Re: I need help - is this email a scam?

    notify the law firm im sure they would appreciate it.
    The only dumb question is the one not asked.

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  10. #10
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    Re: I need help - is this email a scam?

    It's quite simple, if you have to ask then it's a scam

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