How to spot lottery scams like "Google - Qatar World Cup Lottery"
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What is "Google - Qatar World Cup Lottery"?
We examined this email and learned that it is generated by crooks who seek to trick recipients into believing that they have won a lottery. This letter is a hoax (a lottery scam). People who fall for such scams never receive any money or other prizes. Thus, this email should be ignored/deleted.
More about the "Google - Qatar World Cup Lottery" scam email
This scam email claims that the recipient has won £5,794,200.00 in the Google - Qatar World Cup lottery. It contains the winner's reference number and asks to send the name, country, phone number, and age to email@example.com to claim the prize.
Scammers behind this scam email are probably hoping to extract money (to trick the recipient into paying "administration" or other fees) or sensitive information (e.g., credit card details, ID card information). Thus, it is strongly recommended not to reply to this (or any similar) email.
|Name||Google - Qatar World Cup Lottery Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Recipients have won £5,794,200.00 in the Google - Qatar World Cup lottery|
|Disguise||Letter from the vice president of the Google - Qatar World Cup 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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Similar scam emails in general
Similar scams are "BRITISH CAMELOT ONLINE LOTTERY Email Scam", "2022 FIFA Lottery Award Email Scam", and "Coca Cola Lottery Email Scam". As a rule, scammers use lottery scams to lure recipients into transferring money or providing personal information. They often misuse the names of legitimate companies, organizations, or other entities to give their emails legitimacy.
Email can be used not only to extract money or information but also to trick recipients into infecting their computers.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
Emails used to deliver malware contain malicious website links or attachments/files. Users infect computers by opening those links or files. In certain cases, computers cannot be infected without taking additional steps (e.g., without enabling macros commands in opened malicious MS Office documents or executing files extracted from archive files).
How to avoid installation of malware?
Do not open files/attachments and links received from suspicious or unknown email addresses. Especially when received emails do not concern you. Download software from official pages and stores. Avoid using other sources (e.g., shady pages, third-party downloaders, P2P networks) to download files and programs.
Keep the operating system and installed programs updated. Do not use third-party/unofficial tools to activate or update any software. Run antivirus scans regularly. Use reputed antivirus software.
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 "Google - Qatar World Cup Lottery" email letter:
Subject: Winners Reference Numbers: MDE/01/9035-2022
Your Email Address ID Has Been Awarded £5,794,200.00 Pounds Sterling in the Google - Qatar World Cup Lottery Live Draws held Today.
Winners Reference Numers: MDE/01-9035/U22
To Claim, Send Your:
Sir. Martin Huddlestone
Google - Qatar World Cup Lottery
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Google - Qatar World Cup Lottery scam email?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious 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.
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.
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:
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?
Everyone who received this letter has received the same letter. Scam emails are not personal (they are non-targeted).
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this email, what should I do?
If you have provided login information (like username and password), change all passwords as soon as possible. If scammers have extracted other personal information (e.g., credit card details, ID card information, social security number), contact the corresponding authorities.
I have downloaded and opened a malicious file attached to an email, is my computer infected?
Executable files infect computers after opening them. MS Office documents (if opened with MS Office 2010 or newer) cannot infect computers until macros commands are enabled. Archive files do not infect computers too. Files placed in archives do. It depends on the type of file.
I have sent cryptocurrency to the address presented in such email, can I get my money back?
Unfortunately, cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible. Victims who send crypto to scammers cannot retrieve lost funds.
I have read the email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, it is safe to open emails (without opening links or files in them).
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will remove malware from a computer. It can detect almost all known malware. When a computer is infected with high-end malware, it must be scanned using a full scan option. Typically, high-end malware hides deep in the operating system.
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