How to spot scams like Illuminati email scam

Also Known As: Illuminati spam campaign
Damage level: Medium

What is the Illuminati email scam?

After inspecting the email, our team has found that it is an invitation to join the Illuminati sent by scammers. Illuminati is a name given to real and fictitious groups. Scammers behind this email attempt to trick recipients into contacting them for more details regarding recruitment.

Illuminati email scam email spam campaign

More about the Illuminati email scam

The email offers to join the Illuminati to solve all health, financial, and other problems. It states that it was created solely for recruitment. The offer to join the Illuminati empire will stand until the next month. Interested recipients are instructed to email joinllluminati@qq.com to receive more information regarding the membership.

It is very likely that this letter is being used to trick recipients into paying a "membership" fee, providing sensitive information (e.g., credit card details), purchasing fake or unnecessary products or services, or for other purposes. Either way, it is a scam that must be ignored.

Threat Summary:
Name Illuminati Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim All problems will be solved after joining the Illuminati family
Cyber Criminal Email Address joinllluminati@qq.com
Disguise Letter from the Illuminati group
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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Similar scams in general

Scammers behind emails of this type pretend to be legitimate companies, organizations, or other entities. In most cases, their goal is to extract money or sensitive information. It is important to know that emails sent by cybercriminals can contain malicious attachments or links.

Examples of similar emails are "Your OneDrive Is Inactive And Will Soon Be Deleted Email Scam", "Impex Delivery Services Email Scam", and "Your Netflix Subscription Suspended Within 2 Days Email Scam".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Emails used to deliver malware are also disguised as letters from legitimate entities. The purpose of such emails is to trick recipients into infecting their computers. Recipients infect computers by opening malicious downloads (attachments or files downloaded via links).

Usually, threat actors use MS Office, PDF documents, JavaScript files, archive files like RAR, ZIP, disc image files, and executable files to trick users into infecting computers with malware.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not open attachments and links in emails sent from unknown addresses (especially when received emails are irrelevant). Do not use unreliable sources (e.g., torrent sites, P2P networks, third-party downloaders) to download files and software. Always use official/legitimate websites for that.

Update and activate all installed programs with tools provided by their official developers. Do not use third-party tools (e.g., cracking tools downloaded from shady websites). 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 this Illuminati email letter:

Subject: Join the illuminati.

Greetings, from the llluminati world elite empire. Bringing the poor, the needy and the talented to the limelight of fame, riches and powers, knowledge, business and political connections. This is the right time for you to put all your worries, your health issues, and finance problems to an end by joining the Elite Family of The llluminati!. Are you sick, Barren or having divorcing problems, finding it difficult to get job promotions in your place of work in order to excel in life just like you wish? If YES! Then join the llluminati empire you will get all this numerous benefit and solutions to your problems.

Note: that this email message was created solely for the purpose of our recruitment scheme which will end next month and this offer is for unique ones only; if you are not serious on joining the llluminati empire, then you are advice not to contact us at all. This is because disloyalty is highly not tolerated here in our organization.

Do you agree to be a member of the llluminati new world order? If YES!. Then kindly reply us back on our direct recruitment email only at: joinllluminati@qq.com

Please note, Kindly make sure all your response are send directly to the email stated above only at:> joinllluminati@qq.com

For more instructions on our membership process.

Note: Some email providers incorrectly place official llluminati messages in their spam / junk folder or promotion folder. This can divert and exclude our responses to your emails.

The llluminati.

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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?

Scammers send the same email to all addresses in their database. In other words, emails of this kind are not personal. The same applies to the email from "Illuminati".

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

Change all passwords immediately if you have provided account credentials such as username, ID, password, or similar information. Contact the corresponding authorities if you have provided credit card details, ID card information, or other sensitive details.

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

Your computer is not infected if you have opened a malicious MS Office document but have not enabled macros commands. However, if you have opened an executable file, then most probably, your computer is already infected with malware. Not all files infect computers the same way.

I have sent cryptocurrency to the address presented in such email, can I get my money back?

Cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible. Thus, you will not be able to retrieve your funds.

I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?

No, it is not harmful to open an email even if it contains a malicious file or link.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and remove detected malware. This application can eliminate almost all known malware. Note that high-end malware usually hides deep in the system. A computer must be scanned using a full scan to remove such malware.

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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.

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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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