Avoid getting scammed by the "Ontario UK Lottery" spam emails

Also Known As: Ontario UK Lottery spam email
Damage level: Medium

What is the "Ontario UK Lottery" email scam?

After inspecting the "Ontario UK Lottery" email, we determined that it is spam. The scam letter claims that the recipient has been chosen as a lottery winner. This fake email mentions several legitimate entities, and it must be emphasized that none of them are associated with this scam.

Ontario UK Lottery email spam campaign

"Ontario UK Lottery" email scam overview

The "Ontario UK Lottery" spam letter claims that the recipient's email account has been chosen to win £700,000 (seven hundred thousand pounds). The prize is supposedly from a lottery with big-name sponsors - the email mentions both fake lotteries and genuine ones, as well as name-drops several other legitimate entities.

After the winning sum is processed, it will allegedly be transferred to the winner's bank account. The scam letter requests the recipient to visit the linked website and use the provided information to contact the "brokers services desk".

As mentioned in the introduction, all the claims made by these "Ontario UK Lottery" emails - are false. Typically, spam of this type operates as a phishing scam. In other words, such emails target sensitive information.

For example, to receive the fake winnings, victims can be asked to provide their personal information (e.g., full names, addresses, occupations, telephone numbers, etc.) and banking data (e.g., bank account details, credit card numbers, etc.). Additionally, victims can be sent to phishing websites disguised as those belonging to their bank and asked to sign in to their account - thereby exposing their log-in credentials to the scammers.

The cyber criminals can sell the disclosed information to third-parties or abuse it themselves (e.g., make fraudulent transactions or online purchases, craft personalized scams, etc.).

In summary, by trusting the "Ontario UK Lottery" spam emails - users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ontario UK Lottery spam email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient has won a lottery.
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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Spam campaigns in general

We have analyzed thousands of spam emails; "CANADIAN LOTTERY email scam", "Mail Delivery Successful", "Geek Squad email scam", "Donation Grant For You" - are merely some examples of our latest finds.

These letters are used to facilitate various scams, e.g., phishing, sextortion, and so on. Furthermore, spam is used to proliferate trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, and other malware. Due to how widespread spam mail is, we strongly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails and messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam emails can have infectious files attached to them. Alternatively, these letters can contain links to malicious websites - designed to trick users into downloading virulent files or ones capable of infiltrating them into visitors' devices.

Malicious files can be archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, and so on. Once such a file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection chain is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We advise against opening the attachments and links found in dubious/irrelevant emails and messages - as they can contain malware. Another recommendation is using Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since they have the "Protected View" mode, which prevents automatic execution of macro commands.

However, malicious software is spread using various techniques. Therefore, we also advise downloading only from official and verified channels. Additionally, all programs must be activated and updated using functions/tools provided by genuine developers, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and fake updates can cause system infections.

It is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. Security software must be used to perform regular system scans and to remove detected threats and issues. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

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

Subject: Notification

RE: Winner Notification

Dear Email User:
Congratulations! Your Email Has Won £700, 000.00 GBP From: Ontario UKLotto Promotions, Held In United Kingdom. To Promote The International Powerball with Ontario-49. Sponsor by Email Network Services and Coca Cola Great Britain.

Payout Notification Reference OUK70LPC5/18

Three (3) Email Addresses Was Selected From One Million Email Addresses And Your Email Address Is Among the Three Winning Email Addresses in the Winning Pot, Which Was Attached To Verification Pin Number: 5018.Which Ultimately Has Won You the Sum of £700,000.00 {Seven Hundred Thousand British Pounds Only}

Our Agent Brokers Services Desk UK, They Will Process Your Cash Prize To The Paying Bank For Transfer To You By Means Of Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) Into Your Nominated Bank Account Or By Receiving Your ATM Card. Be Informed That Funds Cannot Be Deducted Because Of The Insurance Policy Place On It, Until The Mentioned Cash Prize Reaches The Sole Winner/Beneficiary's Nominated Bank Account For Security Reason(S).

©Ontario UKLotto Draws. Date Sat, May 14, 2022. Visit: www.lottolore.com/ontar49.html with winning number: 3 -12 -23 -31 -33 -40
And Bonus Number: 27

For Security Reasons, We Advise Any Of The Winners To Keep Their Winner Information Confidential From The Public Until Your Claim Is Processed And Your Prize Released To You This Is Part Of Our Security Protocol To Avoid Dual Claiming And Unwarranted Advantage Of This Program By Non-Participant Or Unofficial Personnel.

To Process The Release Of Your Cash Prize, You Are Required To Contact Our Agent, Brokers Services Desk With Details Below:

Brokers Service Desk'UK.
3 Kemble St, London, WC2B 4TS.
Agents: Mrs. Dina Amir.
Phone: +44 1423536594
Telfax:  +44 1423536594
Email: Bsduk@bsdmail.com

You're Advised To Send Your Winning And Reference Number To The Broker Agent That Will Facilitate The Release Of Your Cash Prize For Payout To Your Bank Account.

Yours Sincerely,
Mr. Roger Ronald,
{Group Coordinator}
©Ontario UK Lotto Promotions.

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

Ontario UK Lottery scam email appearance (GIF)

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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing 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.

Email-virus icon 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.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

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:

Example of an email spam

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Spam emails are not personal; cyber criminals distribute them in large-scale operations - hence, thousands of users receive identical messages.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?

If you have disclosed account credentials - change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if you have provided other private information (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - immediately contact the corresponding authorities.

I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

No, malware download/installation is not triggered by opening a spam email. Infection processes are jumpstarted when the attachments or links present in these letters are opened/clicked.

I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?

Whether an infection was initiated might depend on the file's format. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) - most likely, yes. However, document formats (.pdf, .doc, .xls, etc.) can require additional actions (e.g., enabling macro commands) - to begin downloading/installing malware.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to detect and eliminate threats. It is capable of removing almost all known malware infections. However, it must be noted that performing a full system scan is essential - since high-end malicious programs typically hide deep within systems.

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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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