Do not trust scammers behind United Nations Online Lotto phishing scam

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

United Nations Online Lotto email scam removal guide

What is "United Nations Online Lotto email scam"?

Like most lottery scams, this one is designed to trick recipients into believing that they have won a large sum of money in a lottery. It is common that scammers behind such scams attempt to extract money from unsuspecting recipients by asking them to pay processing fees or transfer charges. Usually they disguise their scams as emails from legitimate organizations, companies. This particular scam is disguised as a letter from United Nations. However, the actual United Nations organization has nothing to do with this scam.

United Nations Online Lotto email scam email spam campaign

Scammers behind this email attempt to trick recipients into believing that that their email address was randomly selected as a winner of the sum of $10,000,000. Scammers seek to obtain personal details from the recipients such as full name, email address, occupation, phone number, country by asking to reply to an email with the aforementioned details. It is very likely that after being replied scammers behind this email ask to pay a certain amount of money, supposedly a transaction or a processing fee, or try to extract money from unsuspecting recipients in some other way. In one way or another, this and other similar emails should be ignored. It is worthwhile to mention that such emails may contain website links to fake, deceptive websites where visitors are asked to provide sensitive information like credit card details, login credentials, etc., as well.

Threat Summary:
Name United Nations Online Lotto Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient is entitled to claim the sum of $10,000,000
Disguise Letter from United Nations
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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A couple of examples of other email scams are "USAA Email Scam", "Your Microsoft Subscription Has Been Expired Email Scam" and "You've Been Hacked! Email Scam". As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, most of the times scammers behind them attempt to deceive recipients into paying them money and/or providing personal, sensitive information that could be misused for malicious purposes. Although, there are cyber criminals that use emails as tools to distribute malware, some examples of malicious programs that are (or were) distributed via malspam are Agent Tesla, Ursnif, Dridex and LokiBot.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Typically, recipients get deceived into installing malware via malspam when they execute some malicious file that was attached to the email or downloaded via link in it. In most cases cyber criminals send emails with malicious PDF, Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, executable files (like .exe), or archive files (like ZIP, RAR) attached to them. When users open any of those files, they infect their computers with malware. It is worthwhile to mention that users install malware via MS Office documents only when they enable macros commands (editing/content) in them. Although, if they open malicious documents with MS Office versions that were released before year 2010, then they install malware automatically. It is because older versions do not include the "Protected View" mode which is designed to prevent malicious documents from installing malware.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Irrelevant emails that have attachments, download links for some files in them and are received from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be trusted. It is advised to open files and/or links in emails only when there is no reason to suspect that it may be not safe. Furthermore, it strongly recommended not to download software through third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), from unofficial pages, freeware download pages, free file hosting sites, etc. or install it via third party installers. Files and programs should be downloaded from official, trustworthy sites and via direct download links. Any installed software has to be activated and/or updated with tools that are provided by its official developers. Other (unofficial, third party) tools are not trustworthy - they can be designed to distribute malware. Besides, it is not legal to use unofficial activation to activate licensed software, or use installers for pirated software. Additionally, it is advised to regularly scan a computer with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware suite and always keep that computer security software up to date. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Appearance of the United Nations Online Lotto phishing email (GIF):

united nations online lotto email scam appearance

Text presented in the United Nations Online Lotto scam email:

Subject: Congratulation  ********** !!!!


UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION
405 East 42nd Street
New York, NY, 10017, USA
Tel: +1-718-690-9782

 
Poverty Mitigation Program.
                                                              
Attention: Email Account Holder ( ********** )

Congratulations!! Congratulations!!
 
Are you the correct owner of this email ********** ? If yes, then, be glad this day as the result of the United Nations Online Lotto and email address free-ticket draws of the 01st , of Novermber 2020 Promotion Award has been released and we are glad to announce to you that your email address came out in the first category and entitles you to claim the sum of $10,000,000.00.
 
It is a promotional Program to encourage the use of Microsoft and Internet Programs. Your email address was entered for the online draw on this free ticket number:B55607545 6152 with reference number UN/JA2C110P5 and Serial number UN5365/3 ,Batch number XA87-2PY ,drew the lucky numbers: 04-09-20-22-29-38 - Bonus 06   
This subsequently won you the lottery in the 1st category i.e. matches 6 lucky numbers Plus Bonus number.

You have therefore been allocated to claim a total sum of $10,000,000.00 (Ten Million United States Dollars) in cash is credited to file UNPC/9080144308/05. This is from a total cash prize of $181,250,000.00 Shared amongst the 1691 with (2) lucky winner in "1st" category.
 
This promotion was drawn based on email address as the key identification for setting up online accounts. All valid email addresses in the World Wide Web Draw used/participants for the online email promotion version were selected randomly via computer balloting from a global website collaboration with internet companies like eBay, pay pal, liberty reserve, and Google whom also built their systems and based their membership registration identity on email addresses supporting this computer draw system done by extracted email addresses from over 100,000 unions, associations, and corporate bodies  and  affiliated members to the National Lottery website and their advertisers listed online. This Online promotion takes place via virtual ticket balloting and it is done Bi-annually.
 
Please note that you’re lucky winning ticket file and number falls within African booklet representative office in Johannesburg South Africa as indicated in your ballot played coupon. In view of this, your $10,000,000.00 would be released to you by their payment department.
 

Kindly provide following information urgently:
1. Full Name:  2. Email Address:  3. Age: 4.Occupation: 5. Reference Number/Ticket Number:   6. Phone Number:   7. Country:    8. Date of draw

Contact our Fiduciary agents in  immediately by replying this mail to commence release of your lottery prize by providing details below.
 
Contact Person: Mr. Mathew Paul Actron


Sincerely,
Prof. Mussa Juma Assad
Chairman of United Nations Board of Auditors Copyright (c) 1994-2012 The UN Lottery International Promotion Inc.
All rights reserved. Terms of Service -Guideline 77635 476378 255667460.

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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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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