Avoid being scammed by "Attn Lucky Winner" fake prize emails
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is the "Attn Lucky Winner" email?
"Attn Lucky Winner" is an email scam targeting Australian users. These messages claim that recipients have been selected as winners of the "Mega Millions" raffle sponsored by "OZ Australia". Supposedly, users have won an incredible sum of money (over ten million dollars).
The content of the message is extremely dubious, mentioning the names of legitimate, generic, and nonexistent lotteries, companies and entities. This type of scam is typically used to trick recipients into revealing their personal and banking information, making monetary transactions, calling expensive telephone numbers, and similar.
The email entitled "Attn lucky winner" begins with listed contact details of supposed Australian claims adjusters/representatives. The message announces that the recipient is the third place winner of the "Mega Millions" lottery. This is the name of a legitimate lottery based in the United States, which can be played by non-US citizens as well.
The fake prize is stated to be over ten million dollars ($10,500,000.00). The email makes reassurances that all of the necessary steps have been taken to ensure that users receive their winnings. Therefore, they are urged to immediately contact their claims adjuster or representative (the contacts are listed at the top of the message).
Recipients are also informed that 10% of the profit belongs to "Oz Group Limited" - the promotional/legal company associated with their claim. This company name is quite generic and does not appear to be in reference to any legitimate entity. To legally secure the prize, users must obtain three certificates from their local authorities.
Following this, they are allegedly able to claim their winnings from the advertising agency ("Tatts Group Limited"). This is the name of a legitimate Australian lottery, wagering and gaming solution company. Any unclaimed winnings are used to increase the future prize pool and to fund educational and treatment programs.
There is a "security code" listed, which according to the email, together with pricing information, must be kept strictly confidential as stated by various laws. Therefore, users must keep their winning entirely confidential, even from family members, relatives and friends.
This is supposedly to prevent fraud, manipulation and similar, however, from the scammers point of view, limiting the number of people involved increases chances of the criminals' success, as other parties might notice that the email is fraudulent.
Once all of the verification processes are complete, users are informed that the sum will be transferred to their bank account, or an automated platinum card will be issued, as approved by "GELDAUTOMAT". The latter is likely to be an arbitrary/random name (literally, "ATM machine" in German), as it does not seem to belong to any relevant company/entity.
All of the claims made by the "Attn Lucky Winner" email are false. Trusting this message can lead to serious problems. Scammers tend to use these schemes to trick people into calling high-toll numbers and attempt to keep them talking for as long as possible, however, more commonly, fake prize scams are used to extort personal information from the recipients.
For example, names, addresses, telephone numbers, bank account and/or credit card details, etc. Financial information can be misused by the criminals to make fraudulent transactions or online purchases.
In some cases, scammers might ask users to pay bogus fees to receive a prize. In summary, trusting "Attn Lucky Winner" (or similar scams) can lead to serious privacy issues and financial loss.
|Name||Attn Lucky Winner Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.|
|Fake Claim||Scam claims recipients have won third place in the Mega Millions lottery.|
|Disguise||Disguised as mail from the Mega Millions lottery team.|
|Symptoms||Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.|
|Damage||Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Deceptive/Scam emails are sent by the thousand during large scale operations termed "spam campaigns". "AOL Winner", "TOYOTA LOTTERY ORGANIZATION", and "Google winner" are just some examples of many other emails employing the fake prize scam model.
These emails have various guises and forms. These messages are usually presented as "official", "important", "urgent" and so on. They can even abuse the current social climate (e.g. the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic). Deceptive emails are also used to proliferate Trojans, ransomware and other malware.
Regardless of what this mail claims or requests, its purpose is the same: to generate revenue for the scammers/cyber criminals behind it.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When they are executed, run or otherwise opened, the infection process is triggered (i.e., download/installation of malware). For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands.
In MS Office versions released prior to 2010, this process begins automatically when the dangerous document is opened, however, newer versions first ask users to enable macro commands (i.e., to enable editing/content). Therefore, the infection processes is only triggered after macros are manually enabled.
How to avoid installation of malware
You are advised against opening dubious or irrelevant emails, especially those with any attachments or links present in them, as doing so can lead to high-risk system infection. Use only Microsoft Office versions released after 2010, since they have "Protected View" mode, which prevents macro commands from being executed when the document is opened.
You are advised to download from official and verified sources only. Untrusted channels such as unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders can offer deceptive and malicious content for download. It is also important to activate and update programs with tools/functions provided by genuine developers.
Illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third party updaters must not be used, as they are often employed to distribute malware. To ensure device and user safety, it is paramount to have reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed and kept updated. Furthermore, this software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats.
If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "Attn Lucky Winner Email Scam" email message:
Subject: Attn lucky winner
Tel- + 61384004707
Fax + 61370039254
Attn lucky winner
The Mega Million team is pleased to officially announce you as the third winner of the ten million ($ 10,500,000.00) sponsored raffle OZ Australia. Fourth place total is $ 5 million ($ 500 million). Congratulations! Global Mega Millions takes all necessary steps to ensure that you receive your prize. Please contact your claims adjuster or representative immediately to avoid delays as you can contact them by email or by phone and fax. Also note that 10% of your profit belongs to Oz Group Limited as it is the promotional and legal company associated with your claim. This 10% will only be paid out after you have received your prize (money).
Three (3) certificates must be issued to you by the local authorities concerned in order to legally secure your claim through the advertising agency (Tatts Group Limited). Unused winner prizes will be used for educational programs, treatment programs, and to increase future prize pools.
Tel- + 613-383757100
Your security code is: H649PC32 In accordance with federal, state, and federal laws, your security code and pricing information must be kept strictly confidential. This means that you are not allowed to talk about your winnings with third parties such as (family members, friends and relatives). This is to prevent illegal manipulation and to reduce the risk of fraud and fraud. Due to improper practices, we ask that you strictly disclose your reward information until your claim has been processed and money has been transferred to your possession, as this is part of our security protocol to prevent duplicate claims or unjustified misuse of this program by unscrupulous people.
s soon as we have verified your identity and your security code number, we will immediately transfer your total amount to your specified bank account by bank transfer, or an automated platinum card will be issued with a payment analysis in accordance with the global finance law, which the lottery approval by (GELDAUTOMAT ).
Your email initial was used for the raffle and you won a lucky winner.
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- What is Attn Lucky Winner spam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious emails:
Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.
Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.
After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.
Emails with Malicious Attachments
Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.
In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.
If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.
While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.
This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.
To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.
How to spot a malicious email?
While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:
- Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
- Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
- Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
- Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.
To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
Example of a spam email:
What to do if you fell for an email scam?
- If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
- If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
- If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
- If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
- Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.
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