Avoid being scammed by "Attn Lucky Winner" fake prize emails

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

"Attn Lucky Winner" email scam removal guide

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.

Attn Lucky Winner Email Scam email spam campaign

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.

Threat Summary:
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)

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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?

Malware infections are caused through spam campaigns via dangerous files sent in emails. These files can be attached to the messages or linked inside them (i.e., through download links). Malicious files can be in various formats (e.g. archives, executables, Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, etc.). 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 Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Attn Lucky Winner Email Scam" email message:

Subject: Attn lucky winner

 

Melbourne, Australia
382-channel drive
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
(Fax- +61381035050)

 

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.

Congratulations again

 

MEGA MILLIONS

 

Mr James Schofield
jamesschofield989@gmail.com 

 

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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task - usually it is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using Malwarebytes 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 is an example of a suspicious program running on a 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 1Download 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 the 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 the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

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

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not 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 filename 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 remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

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

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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