Avoid getting scammed by the fake "National UK Lottery" emails

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

"National UK Lottery" email scam removal guide

What is the fake "National UK Lottery" email?

"National UK Lottery email scam" refers to a phishing spam campaign. The term "spam campaign" is used to define a mass-scale operation, during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. The letters sent through this spam campaign supposedly concern an extremely valuable prize from "National UK Lottery" that recipients have won, which has been mistakenly sent to a different address. Hence, recipients are asked to pay storage fees and provide their personal information - to have the package shipped to them. It must be emphasized that all of the information provided by these emails is false and it no way associated with any lotteries, based in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. The goal of this spam campaign is to extract personal data and/or generate profit via payments received under false pretenses.

National UK Lottery scam email spam campaign

The "National UK Lottery" scam emails (subject/title "Call Mr Johnson Now for your delivery +12705514544"; may vary) inform recipients that their package from the "National UK Lottery" arrived at the Chicago O'Hare International Airport due to an error. The package has been verified as legitimate and cleared by the US customs. The nonexistent parcel allegedly contains a box made out of gold and is valued at over three million US dollars. The package is currently in the storage facility at the Chicago Airport, as it cannot be shipped out due to an incomplete address. The letters request recipients to provide the following information - full name, current address, phone number, occupation, and nearest airport in relation to their current location - in order to have the parcel shipped to them. Additionally, the period of free storage has ended. Hence, recipients will start getting charged 125 USD per day - until the fake package is sent out, but the shipping will be free of charge. However, storage is not indefinite and if recipients do not address the issues - the parcel will be listed as unclaimed consignment and potentially seized. As mentioned in the introduction, the "National UK Lottery" emails are scams and none of the information provided by them is true. The purpose of these letters is to trick recipients into providing their personal data and possibly embroil them into a scam featuring various bogus monetary transactions. To summarize, by trusting the "National UK Lottery" scam emails, users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name National UK Lottery Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim that recipients' extremely valuable package has arrived at the wrong address, and they need to provide the correct shipping information as well as pay the storage fees.
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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"Zoom Email Scam", "Deactivating All Inactive Accounts", "You Have Used Zoom Recently - I Have Very Unfortunate News" and "Google Forms Email Scam" are some examples of other spam campaigns. The deceptive emails are usually presented as "official", "important", "urgent" and similar; they may even be disguised as mail from legitimate institutions, organizations, companies and other entities. However, spam campaigns are not used just for phishing and other scams. They are also employed to proliferate trojans, ransomware and other malware. Regardless of what these letters claim, offer, request or demand, the end-goal is always to generate revenue for the scammers / cyber criminals behind them.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Systems are infected through virulent files, which are distributed via spam campaigns. Deceptive emails contain download links of malicious files and/or the files are simply attached to the letters. Infectious files can be in various formats, e.g. archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, and so on. When they are executed, run or otherwise opened - the infection process/chain (i.e. malware download/installation) is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. In Microsoft Office versions released before 2010 - macros are executed the moment a document is opened. However, newer versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macro commands; instead, users are asked to enable them (i.e. to enable editing/content). Hence, infection is only triggered by manually enabling macros.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid malware spread via spam mail, it is expressly advised against opening suspicious/irrelevant emails, especially any links or attachments found in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. Aside from spam campaigns, malicious programs are also distributed through dubious download channels (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal activation tools ("cracks") and fake updaters. Therefore, it is strongly advised to always download from official/verified sources, as well as activate and update products using functions/tools provided by genuine developers. To protect device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed. Furthermore, this software has to be kept updated, used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "National UK Lottery" scam email letter:

Subject: Call Mr Johnson Now for your delivery +12705514544


Cargo Unit: Chicago O'Hare International Airport,
Airport code: ORD 10000 West O'Hare
Chicago, IL 60666:USA,
Email:(aircargounitcontrol.chicago@outlook.com)
Tele:+12705514544 or WhatsAPP+17023897559.

 

ATTENTION: Final Notice of Your Package In view of your inability to
receive your package with registration #: CT8100AF from National UK
Lottery London nited kingdom, originally scheduled to be delivered to you
by an agency, city express delivery (c.e.d).

 

This package in a golden metal box valued $3,316,000 USD (Three million
Four hundred and sixteen thousand dollars) mistakenly arrived at Chicago
O'Hare International Airport terminal 5 via British airways flight
no.BA297 from Heathrow airport London sometime ago. The package with
registration no,#: CT8100AF has been cleared by the USA customs and is
100% legitimate.

 

The agency, attached to the airport, city express delivery (c.e.d) who
delivered your package to your address have just return the package to our
storage facility at the Chicago Airport, due to incomplete address.Please
reconfirm these information's;

 

1. Your Full Name; .....
2. Your current address; ..........
3. Your phone number; ..............
4. Nearest airport to your location.........
5. Your Occupation; ...............

 

Therefore, I am writing to inform you that the days of grace has elapsed
and we shall begin to charge the daily storage fee of $125 USD ONLY, and
the fee will be direct to united nation head office Benin Republic. Please
call: Mr Johnson Nugent UN AGENT, on +12705514544 or WhatsAPP+1703897559
he will email you the name to wire the money to united nation head office
Benin Republic. Extension 21 terminal 5 or contact Email
address:(aircargounitcontrol.chicago@outlook.com)
to release this package directly to you.

 

Note that this notice serves as our last recovery notice to you as our
department will be compelled to shortlist your package as an unclaimed
consignment, and maybe forfeited. Note: Delivery of your package from the
airport to your residential address is free.

 

Best regards,

 

Mrs Sandra Leon
STORAGE OFFICER Terminal 5 Extension 11
Phone:+1703897559.

 

Consignment from United nation payment Delegation west Africa state.
Mrs Sandra Leon
UN CHIEF ON PAYMENT MATTERS.
Benin Republic
Whatsap Number: +17023897559

Appearance of the "National UK Lottery" scam email (GIF):

National UK Lottery email scam appearance (GIF)

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.

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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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