What is "Jeff Bezos Charity Project" email scam?
We have examined this email and determined that it is a scam letter sent by scammers pretending to be Jeff Bezos. The purpose of this scam email is to lure recipients into providing personal information and (or) sending scammers money. It should be ignored and marked as spam.
More about the "Jeff Bezos Charity Project" scam email
This scam email claims that Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, is informing the world of his intention to give out a portion of his fortune, totaling $124 billion, to lucky individuals worldwide. It says that the email of the recipient was randomly selected to be a part of those who will be beneficiaries of this charity project, with each person set to be awarded $520,000,00.
The recipient is instructed to contact the Agent, Deborah Jennings, via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information on how to proceed. When scammers are contacted, they typically ask to provide sensitive information and (or) pay administration or other fees.
Scam emails of this kind should be ignored. People who transfer money to scammers (or provide information) do not receive any money, prizes, etc.
|Name||Jeff Bezos Charity Project Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Jeff Bezos is giving away money|
|Disguise||Letter from Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon|
|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
Scammers behind such emails usually try to extract money and (or) sensitive information like credit card details, ID card information, social security numbers, or other details from unsuspecting recipients. Typically, they pretend to be legitimate entities or real people.
Other examples of similar scams include "People's Postcode Lottery", "United Nations - Abandoned Shipment", "Crypto Payment Notification", and "Help My Daughter". It's important to note that emails can also be used to deliver malware.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
How to avoid installation of malware?
Double-check emails containing malicious files or links. Note that irrelevant emails from suspicious or unknown addresses are likely to contain malicious files or links. Download programs and files from trustworthy sources like official pages and verified stores. Keep the operating system updated (the same applies to installed programs).
Avoid clicking ads and links on suspicious websites. Use reputed antivirus software and run system scans regularly. 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 "Jeff Bezos Charity Project" email letter:
I'm Jeff Bezos,
The CEO of Amazon, it's on this note that I'm informing the world of
my intention to give out my Fortune of $124 Billion of my wealth to
the lucky ones around the country and world at large.
Your email was randomly selected to be a part of the people who will
be beneficiaries of this charity project. each person would be awarded
Contact the Agent on how to proceed.
My Best Regards..
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- What is Jeff Bezos Charity Project giveaway scam?
- 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?
Most scam emails are not targeted and are instead sent to a large number of recipients. Scammers often obtain email addresses via phishing pages or use emails leaked in data breaches.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this email, what should I do?
Change all passwords if you have provided any login information (credentials). In other cases (if you have provided personal details like ID card information, credit card details, social security numbers, etc.), contact the appropriate authorities.
I have downloaded and opened a file attached to this email, is my computer infected?
Opening executable files usually leads to a system infections. However, if the file in question is a document such as a .pdf or .doc, an archive file, or another file, there is a chance that your system may not be infected.
I have read the email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?
Simply opening an email is not harmful. Thus, your computer is not infected if you have not opened any link or file.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?
Combo Cleaner is an effective tool for detecting and removing most pieces of malware. Advanced (high-end) malware may hide deep in a system, making it important to perform a full system scan to ensure that all potential threats are detected and removed.