I received a strange email from
email@example.com. Sources on the internet seem to state that this is a Facebook-owned domain but I know the email is not legit because they do not address me by my first name, but instead by my email address. Also, I do not have a Facebook account with this particular email address.
Scam emails like this typically include links to malicious websites. However, this one does not. The main action button of the email is a link to send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org, which is obviously not a legit Facebook email address. All of the other buttons and links in the email also have a
mailto: link to the same address, just with a different Subject.
If it matters, the email client I was using is Outlook.com.
I have 2 questions regarding this.
1. How did it pass SPF, DKIM and DMARC?
I know that this question was asked before:
However, in the first case, it was an actual legitimate email. In the second one, the address was
From: Bank Of America <email@example.com>, so there was no actual spoofing. In my case, it is
facebook <firstname.lastname@example.org>. There are no special characters.
2. How does the scam work?
It does not seem that clicking the links will cause anything malicious, since it will just create a new email in the receiver’s email client.
I found a similar question: Trying to understand the point of this scam email
Over there, the answers mention that it might be a way to generate the email addresses of people who do click the buttons. I do not see how this might apply to my example because the link does not actually send the reply email, but just creates it locally on the email client.
For comparison, this is what I see when I inspect the main button:
I tried to use the View Message Source feature on my email client, and found something interesting:
Received: from AM4PR0202MB2852.eurprd02.prod.outlook.com (2603:10a6:200:8e::8) by AS8PR02MB6583.eurprd02.prod.outlook.com with HTTPS; Mon, 17 Jan 2022 21:06:19 +0000 Received: from MWHPR12CA0043.namprd12.prod.outlook.com (2603:10b6:301:2::29) by AM4PR0202MB2852.eurprd02.prod.outlook.com (2603:10a6:200:8e::8) with Microsoft SMTP Server (version=TLS1_2, cipher=TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384) id 15.20.4888.9; Mon, 17 Jan 2022 21:06:15 +0000 Received: from CO1NAM11FT028.eop-nam11.prod.protection.outlook.com (2603:10b6:301:2:cafe::f4) by MWHPR12CA0043.outlook.office365.com (2603:10b6:301:2::29) with Microsoft SMTP Server (version=TLS1_2, cipher=TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384) id 15.20.4888.10 via Frontend Transport; Mon, 17 Jan 2022 21:06:14 +0000 Authentication-Results: spf=fail (sender IP is 188.8.131.52) smtp.mailfrom=facebookmail.com; dkim=none (message not signed) header.d=none;dmarc=fail action=oreject header.from=facebookmail.com;compauth=fail reason=000 Received-SPF: Fail (protection.outlook.com: domain of facebookmail.com does not designate 184.108.40.206 as permitted sender) receiver=protection.outlook.com; client-ip=220.127.116.11; helo=brave19.com; Received: from brave19.com (18.104.22.168) by CO1NAM11FT028.mail.protection.outlook.com (10.13.175.214) with Microsoft SMTP Server id 15.20.4888.9 via Frontend Transport; Mon, 17 Jan 2022 21:06:13 +0000
It seems that the email failed the SPF check? If so, how did the email end up in my inbox?