Sony Afri Mandela Sharing Happiness Award Email Scam

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"Sony Afri Mandela Sharing Happiness Award" removal guide

What is "Sony Afri Mandela Sharing Happiness Award"?

"Sony Afri Mandela Sharing Happiness Award" is an email that is being sent to a lot of people with a purpose to trick them into clicking the presented website link. This is a scam presented as some notification about recipients being approved as winners of a large sum of money. This is just a scam that cannot be trusted, we strongly recommend to ignore it and not to click the presented link.

Sony Afri Mandela Sharing Happiness Award spam campaign

According to scammers behind this email, a recipient's email was selected as a winner of $900.000.000, a prize established by Sony company. Cyber criminals encourage people to provide such details as a full name, country, phone number, sex, age, occupation, nationality and address. It is mentioned that all these details will be used for administrative needs only. They also encourage recipients to click the provided link, according to them, they use this website to verify the winners. Note that the Sony company or the former president of Africa has anything to do with this email. This is just one of the many emails that are presented as some notifications about being selected as a winner of some lottery and so on. In this particular case, this scam is being used to collect various personal information that might be used in future crimes. Besides, clicking links presented in emails of this type might result in having a computer infected with a Trojan. It is very likely that hundreds of other people have received this email as well. As we mentioned in our introduction, emails of this type should not be trusted. The best option in such cases is to simply ignore them.

There are many examples of scams that are similar to "Sony Afri Mandela Sharing Happiness Award", some examples are "I Know * Is One Of Your Pass", "I'll Begin With The Most Important" and "We Are Not Going To Steal A Lot Of Time". The provided examples are used to blackmail people by making statements that are actually not true. Scammers send these emails expecting that someone will fall for their scam. One way or another, most of the times the main goal of these scams is to swindle people out of their money. However, there are spam campaigns that are used to infected computers with various malware (malicious programs) as well, for example, with infections such as LokiBot, TrickBot, Emotet, AZORult and Adwind . They achieve it by sending emails that contain malicious attachments such as Microsoft Office documents, archive files, PDF documents, executable files and so on. One opened, these attachments install one or another malicious program. Quite often these programs are used to steal personal details that can be used to generate revenue. For example, various passwords, logins, banking details and so on. Having computers infected with malicious programs of this type can cause financial loss, problems related to privacy, browsing safety and so on.

We receive a great deal of feedback from concerned users about this scam email. Here is the most popular question we receive:

Q: Hi pcrisk.com team, I received an email stating that my computer was hacked and they have a video of me. Now they are asking for a ransom in Bitcoins. I think this must be true because they listed my real name and password in the email. What should I do?

A: Do not worry about this email. Neither hackers nor cyber criminals have infiltrated/hacked your computer and there is no video of you watching pornography. Simply ignore the message and do not send any Bitcoins. Your email, name, and password was probably stolen from a compromised website such as Yahoo (these website breaches are common). If you are concerned, you can check if your accounts have been compromised by visiting the haveibeenpwned website.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Malicious attachments (or website links) that are presented in emails sent by scammers/cyber criminals can cause computer infections only if they are opened. For instance, if the attachment is a archive file (ZIP, RAR and so on), it needs to be extracted and its contents executed. If the attached file is some Microsoft Office document (Words, Excel or other document), then it needs to be opened and macros commands enabled, and so on. Once it is done, the malicious file gets a permission to download and install one or another computer infection.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not open attachments (or website links) presented in suspicious emails or/and the ones that are received from unknown addresses. As a rule, these emails are presented as legitimate, however, they usually are irrelevant as well. Software should be downloaded using official and trustworthy sources. Various third party software downloaders/installers, unofficial websites and other similar channels should be avoided. Installations should be handled with care: we recommend to check all the available settings (such as "Advanced", "Custom" and so on), deselect offers to download/install unwanted apps and only then finish the installation or download process. All the updates should be performed using tools or/and implemented functions that are provided by official software developers only. It is also recommended to use Microsoft Office 2010 or later: these versions include the "Protected View" mode that is designed to prevent malicious documents from downloading/installing malicious programs. Various software cracking tools can cause various computer infections as well, that is why these tools should not be used. Besides, it is illegal to use them. Having a trustworthy, reputable anti-virus, anti-spyware software installed is also very useful, these tools usually detect (and remove) threats before they can cause any further damage. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Sony Afri Mandela Sharing Happiness Award" email letter:

Subjectt: Approved Winning !
Contact Email : drjoesimon77@gmail.com
Dear e-mail user,
In remembrance to our formal South African late President Nelson Mandela (icon and legend)
Your email has won the Sony Afri Mandela Sharing Happiness Award . In other to claim your $900,000.00 Sony prize winning and to file in for your claims, contact our assigned Claim's Agent Dr Joe Simon.
Agent Contact:
Name : Dr. Joe Simon
Tel : +27- 731 23 5230
Email : drjoesimon77@gmail.com
For administrative needs, provide him with the following information:
Full Names:...................
Country:..................
Private Phone Number:.......... .....
Sex..........................
Age:...........
Occupation:...............
Nationality:.................
Residential Address: .........................
For proper verification of our Previous winners kindly visit the link below:
hxxp://www.care2.com/causes/lottery-winner-who-gave-away-her-entire-prize-dies-of-cancer.html
Your's Sincerely,
Mrs. Eva Newton.
Notification/Information Officer

Instant automatic removal of possible malware infections: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of possible malware infections. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task, usually it's better to let antivirus or anti-malware programs do it automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using  Spyhunter for Windows. If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here's an example of a suspicious program running on user's computer:

malicious process running on user's computer sample

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example using task manager and identified a program that looks suspicious you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1 Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry and file system locations:

screenshot of autoruns application

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

 

manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run Autoruns.exe file.

extract autoruns.zip and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application click "Options" at the top and uncheck "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure click the "Refresh" icon.

Click 'Options' at the top and uncheck 'Hide Empty Locations' and 'Hide Windows Entries' options

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down it full path and name. Note that some malware hides their process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage it's very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate he suspicious program you want to remove right click your mouse over it's name and choose "Delete"

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware won't run automatically on the next system startup) you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the file of the malware be sure to remove it.

searching for malware file on your computer

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should help remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills, it's recommended to leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it's better to avoid getting infected that try to remove malware afterwards. To keep your computer safe be sure to install latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

To be sure your computer is free of malware infections we recommend scanning it with Spyhunter for Windows.