Do not send details to scammers behind Australian online award promo scam

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

Australian online award promo email scam removal guide

What is Australian online award promo email scam?

In most cases phishing emails are disguised as letters from banks, credit card companies, online shops, and/or other companies, organizations of other types. Usually scammers/cyber criminals who send such emails try to trick recipients into opening some website and, for example, to update their password to avoid your account being suspended. In one way or another, in most cases scammers behind such emails attempt to trick unsuspecting recipients into providing personal information.

Australian online award promo email scam

In this particular case scammers attempt to trick recipients into believing that they have won two million dollars and they need to provide details such as full name, telephone number, age, sex, occupation, ID card details, country and address to process the payment. It is important to mention that once provided with the aforementioned details scammers may ask for more personal information, for example, social security number, credit card details, bank account or other financial details, some login credentials, etc. Typically, scammers seek to extract information that could be used to make fraudulent purchases, transactions, steal identities, personal accounts, and for other malicious purposes. Therefore, emails like this one should never be replied, they should be ignored.

Threat Summary:
Name Australian online award promo email scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam,
Fake Claim Recipients have won 2 million dollars
Disguise Letter from some Australian company
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 Malwarebytes.
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More examples of email scams are "Google Forms Email Scam", "Azim Premji Philanthropies Foundation-India Email Scam", "E-Mail Clustered Email Scam". As a rule, such emails are disguised as important, official letters from legitimate companies, organizations, or other entities. However, the actual companies have nothing to do with such scams. It is worthwhile to mention that emails can be used not only to trick recipients to provide personal information but also to making money transactions, or even installing malware on their computers.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Users infect computers/install malware via malspam emails when they download and open malicious attachments or open files that they have downloaded via links in those emails. Some examples of files that can be used to distribute malware via email are malicious PDF, Microsoft Office documents, archive files (like RAR, ZIP), executable files (like .exe) and JavaScript files. It is important to mention that malicious documents install malware on operating systems only when users enable editing/content (macros commands) in them. However, it applies only to malicious documents that are opened with MS Office 2010 or newer, because older versions do not have the "Protected View" feature.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Software and operating system has to be updated and/or activated only with implemented functions (or tools) that from their official developers. Third party, unofficial tools tend to be designed to distribute malware, also, it is not legal to use such tools to activate licensed software (or use pirated software). Attachments and links in received emails that are irrelevant, sent from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened. It is common for such emails to be sent with a purpose to trick recipients into infecting their computers. Files and programs should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites. Unofficial websites, various third party downloaders (and installers) Peer-to-Peer networks, etc.m should bot be used. The operating system should be scanned for malware and other threats regularly and it should be done by using reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in this email scam:

Subject: Dear E-mail User,

Congratulations info,

We are here to announce that Your E-MAIL ACCOUNT has won 2 million USD in the just concluded Australian online award promo. Your Ticket number is 00545 188 564756. All participants were selected through a computer based random integrated system drawn in 27 million E-mail addresses via the Internet and luckywinners do not have to purchase any ticket to participate in this lottery program. Forward your full details such as.

1.full Name
2.Telephone number
3.age
4.sex
5.occupation
6.ID card
7.country
8.and address for processing and payment of your winning.

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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