What kind of email is "United Nations - Abandoned Shipment"?
After inspecting the "United Nations - Abandoned Shipment" email, we determined that it is spam. The letter is supposedly from a "Head Officer in Charge" and claims that a consignment intended for the recipient failed to reach them due to improper documentation and unpaid fees. The shipment consists of two trunks filled with cash, which the recipient can still claim if they verify their identity and pay what is due.
It must be emphasized that all the information provided by this email is false and intended to trick recipients into disclosing private data and transferring money to the scammers.
"United Nations - Abandoned Shipment" email scam overview
The email with the subject "2 TRUNK BOXES DELIVERY" (may vary) is presented as a missive from the "Head Officer in Charge" of the "Administrative Service Inspection Unit United Nations Inspection Agency" in Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (Atlanta, Georgia).
The sender claims that the recipient has a consignment in their name sent from the United Kingdom. A scan of the shipment - the two metal boxes - revealed that they contain money, roughly estimated as eight million USD. It had not reached the recipient, for it was likely intentionally misclassified and not paid for properly.
The recipient is asked to provide their full name, address, and phone number - so that the information could be cross-referenced with that on the consignment's documentation. The sender offers to aid with sending the property to the recipient if they are paid. If the proper action is not taken, the consignment will be repatriated back to the country of origin (UK).
As previously mentioned, this email is fake and none of the information provided by it is true. This spam mail aims to obtain sensitive data and funds by tricking victims into thinking that they can acquire an exorbitant sum of money.
The phishing scam part of this email targets personally identifiable information, which can be sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals) or used to craft personalized scams.
The letter plainly states that recipients must pay to receive the nonexistent consignment. The scammers can ask for the money to be transferred in difficult or impossible to trace methods, so that in the event that victims realize that they have been scammed - they would be unable to retrieve their funds.
Dubious payment gateways that record financial data (e.g., banking account details, online bank credentials, credit card numbers, etc.) could also be employed. And should scammers gain access to such vulnerable information, they could use it to make fraudulent transactions or online purchases through victims' accounts.
To summarize, by trusting emails like "United Nations - Abandoned Shipment" - users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
If you have already disclosed highly sensitive information to scammers (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - immediately contact the appropriate authorities. And if you believe that your account credentials have been exposed - change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and inform their official support without delay.
|Name||"United Nations - Abandoned Shipment" spam email|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||An abandoned consignment containing millions of US dollars intended for the recipient could be shipped to them or repatriated to the country of origin.|
|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.
Spam campaigns in general
We have inspected countless spam emails; "Next Of Kin", "Mega Millions International Lottery", "Crypto Payment Notification", and "DHL - Your Parcel Delivery Arrived Today" are just a few examples of our latest finds.
This type of mail is used to facilitate a wide variety of scams and even to proliferate trojans, ransomware, and other malware. Spam emails can have various disguises; they are often presented as messages from legitimate companies, service providers, organizations, institutions, and other entities.
Due to how widespread spam mail is, we highly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
When such a file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection chain (i.e., malware download/installation process) is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect devices by executing malicious macro commands.
How to avoid installation of malware?
We strongly advise being careful with incoming mail. The attachments and links found in suspicious/irrelevant emails and other messages - must not be opened, as they can be malicious and cause system infections. It is important to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro execution.
However, malware is not spread exclusively via spam mail. Therefore, we recommend downloading only from official/verified sources and activating/updating software by using legitimate functions/tools. Another recommendation is to be vigilant when browsing.
We must emphasize the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept updated. Security programs must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats/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 "United Nations - Abandoned Shipment" spam email letter:
Subject: 2 TRUNK BOXES DELIVERY
I am David Brown, Head Officer-in-Charge, Administrative Service Inspection Unit United Nations Inspection Agency in Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Atlanta, Georgia. During our investigation, I discovered an abandoned shipment through a Diplomat from the United Kingdom which was transferred from JF Kennedy Airport to our facility here in Atlanta, and when scanned it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in 2 Metal Trunk Boxes weighing approximately 130kg.
The consignment was abandoned because the Content was not properly declared by the consignee as money rather it was declared as personal effect/classified document to either avoid diversion by the Shipping Agent or confiscation by the relevant authorities. The diplomat's inability to pay for Non Inspection fees among other things are the reason why the consignment is delayed and abandoned.
By my assessment, each of the boxes contains $4M which is a total of $8Million USD. They are still left in the airport storage facility till today. The Consignments like I said are two metal trunk boxes weighing about 65kg each (Internal dimension: W61 x H156 x D73 (cm) effective capacity: 680 L) Approximately. The details of the consignment including your name and email on the official document from the United Nations' office in London where the shipment was tagged as personal effects/classified document is still available with us. As it stands now, you have to reconfirm your full name, Phone Number, and full address so I can cross-check and see if it corresponds with the one on the official documents. It is now left to you to decide if you still need the consignment or allow us to repatriate it back to the UK
(place of origin) as we were instructed.
As I did say again, the shipper abandoned it and ran away most importantly because he gave a false declaration, he could not pay for the yellow tag, he could not secure a valid non inspection document(s), etc. I am ready to assist you in any way I can for you to get back these packages provided you will also give me something out of it (financial gratification). You can either come in person, or you engage the services of a secure shipping/delivery Company/agent that will provide the necessary security that is required to deliver the package to your doorstep or the destination of your choice. I need all the guarantees that I can get from you before I can get involved in this project.
Administrative Service Inspection Unit.
Another example of an email from "United Nations - Abandoned Shipment" spam campaign:
Text presented within:
Subject: Re scheduleYour Consignment box Fund
MESSAGE FROM CHIEF IMMIGRATION OFFICER.
Los Angeles International Airport.
3435 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1025
Los Angeles, CA 90010.
Hello my friend, I am Mr. Kalstrom S. James, head of luggage/baggage storage facilities here at the Los Angeles International Airport, [LAX] CA 90010. USA.During my recent withheld package routine check at the Airport Storage Vault, I discovered an abandoned shipment from a Diplomat from London and when scanned it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in a metal trunk box.The consignment was abandoned because the Contents of the consignment was not properly declared by the consignee as“MONEY” rather it was declared as personal effect to avoid interrogation and also the inability of the diplomat to clear the United States Non Inspection certificate On my assumption the consignment is still left in our Storage House here at the Los Angeles International Airport, [LAX] till date.
The details of the consignment including your name, your email address in and the official documents from the United Nations office in Geneva are tagged on the Trunk box.
below details are meant requirement,
KINDLY REPLY TO BELOW EMAIL,(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Once I confirm you as the actual recipient of the trunk box, I will get everything concluded within 48hours upon your acceptance and proceed to your address for delivery. Lastly, be informed that the reason I have taken it upon myself to contact you personally about this abandoned consignment is because I want us to transact this business and share the money 80percent for you and 20 percent for me since the consignment has not yet been returned to the United States Treasury Department after being abandoned by the diplomat so immediately the confirmation is made, I will go ahead and pay for the United States Non Inspection certificate and arrange for the box to be delivered to your doorstep.
NOTE: If you received this message in your SPAM/JUNK folder, that is because of the restrictions implemented by your Internet Service Provider, treat it genuinely.
Mr. Kalstrom S. James,
Chief Immigration officer.
Los Angeles International Airport.
3435 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1025
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Yet another example of an email from "United Nations - Abandoned Shipment" spam campaign:
Text presented within:
Subject: YOUR COMPENSATION IS READY
We wish to inform you that our diplomatic agent conveying your
consignment box valued the sum of $5.5 Million United States Dollars
well packaged in a metal Box just for safety of the fund in the Box
arrived United States Of America in Los Angeles today and he is
currently in Los Angeles international airport and he is stranded just
because he lost your delivery address on transit.
He left our country Benin Republic since 2 days ago and be rest
assured that he don't know that the Box contained money so take note
that you dont have to dispose the content of the Box to him for
security reason to avoid him letting the customs know that the content
of the Box is United States Dollars. All you need to do now is to
reconfirm to him the below information to avoid wrong delivery of the
box to a wrong person.
(1)Your Full Name===========
(2)Mobile Phone Number======
(3)Current Home Address=====
(6)Nearest Airport =========
(7)A Copy of Your I D For Identification.
Please do contact the diplomatic agent with the email below with the
information required for your consignment Box delivery as soon as
possible today as soon as you receive my email.
Name- Agent Mr. John Carter
E-mail Address (email@example.com)
Contact number (+1) 864 865-4874
He is waiting to hear from you today with the information.
NOTE: The Diplomatic agent does not know that the content of the
consignment box is $5.5Million United States Dollars and on no
circumstances should you let him know the content. The consignment was
moved from here as family clothes and jewelries so never allow him to
know the content here is the Consignment Box Unlocking Code
(GB0079876545549GBGHTY) by the left hand side.
Dr. James Kingsley
United Nations Resident Coordinator
Contact: +299-5559 2726
Another example of abandoned shipment-themed spam email:
Text presented within:
Subject: From James
Harts-field-Jackson International Airport
6000 N Terminal Pkwy,
Atlanta, Georgia.30320, USA
I am James Witherspoon Head of Customs Inspection Unit in Harts field-Jackson International Airport Atlanta, Georgia. During our investigation, I discovered an abandoned shipment through a Diplomat from the United Kingdom which was transferred from JFK Airport to our facility here in Atlanta, and when scanned it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in 2 boxe weighing approximately 110kg each. The consignment was abandoned because the Content was not properly declared by the consignee as money rather it was declared as a personal Effect/classified document to either avoid diversion by the Shipping Agent or confiscation by the relevant authorities.
The diplomat's inability to pay for Non Inspection fees among other things are the reason why the consignment is delayed and abandoned. By my assessment,the box contains about $4M or more. They are still left in the airport storage facility till today. The Consignments box weighing about 110kg (Internal dimension: W61 x H156 x D73 (cm) effective Capacity: 680 L) Approximately.
From my findings,the shipper abandoned it and ran away most importantly because he gave a false declaration and could not pay for the charges,he could not secure a valid non inspection document(s), etc.
I am ready to make a deal with you on how you can claim the box without any hitches.On this note we will discuss on the sharing formular. I will be fully involved by doing everything that will make the consignhnment to leave to your destination.Also, I will like you to promise that you will receive the consighment and kept it secret untill I come to your country and we will do the needful.Let me know if you are willing to do this with me.
Another email from "United Nations - Abandoned Shipment" spam campaign:
Text presented within:
Subject: Re: Read Carefully.
This is to inform you that a United Nations diplomatic agent that is attached to M?decins Sans Fronti?res (MSF), was conveying your consignment box valued $1.2M is currently stranded at
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Atlanta Georgia, USA due to his handheld malfunctioned and he couldn't contact you upon arrival.
However, I received a distress call this morning that he is unable to reach you. So contact the agent by name (Anderson Fair) immediately and provide him the below listed information.
VALID COPY OF YOUR IDENTITY:
CURRENT HOME ADDRESS:
DIRECT MOBILE NUMBER:
YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT:
Contact the agent via the details below;
Agent Name: Anderson Fair.
Contact Email: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Foreign Remittance Department,
UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION UNIT.
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- What is "United Nations - Abandoned Shipment" spam 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?
Spam emails are not personal; thousands of users receive identical letters.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this spam email, what should I do?
If you have provided log-in credentials - change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if the disclosed data was of a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - immediately contact the appropriate authorities.
I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
No, opening/reading an email will not result in a system infection. Malware download/installation chains are jumpstarted when malicious attachments or links found in spam mail are opened/clicked.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?
Whether your device was affected might depend on the opened file's format. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) - most likely, yes - your system was infected. However, you might have avoided this if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.). These formats can require additional user interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands) to start downloading/installing malware.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate practically all known malware infections. It must be mentioned that since high-end malicious software usually hides deep within systems - performing a full system scan is essential.