How to spot scams like "Help With A Family Visa Email Scam"
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is "Help With A Family Visa"?
After reviewing this email, our team has concluded that it is a fraudulent email intended to deceive recipients into divulging sensitive information or making payments. The scam aims to make recipients believe that they have received a legitimate business proposal. Emails of this kind should be disregarded.
More about the "Help With A Family Visa" scam email
The email claims to be from a Business Development Executive/Auditing Director in the Bank of Ghana named James OSEI, who offers the recipient a business proposal. It states that the sender had assisted a New Zealand citizen named Ashley Raymond Davison in depositing his gold and cash in the Bank of Ghana's safekeeping vault in 2019.
The email further claims that the late Ashley Raymond Davison deposited 300 KG of gold with a karat of 24 and $1,000,000 in cash. The sender then proposes that the recipient takes possession of the gold and cash through a legal process and sells it in Dubai or their country for $16,500,000 US dollars.
The sender then suggests a 50-50 share split with the recipient, and requests help with a family visa to relocate with their family after the deal. This is a classic scam where the sender claims to have a large sum of money that needs to be transferred and asks the recipient for assistance, often promising a share of the money.
The email uses several techniques to make the scam appear legitimate, such as mentioning a specific person and providing details about their supposed deposit. However, the entire email is a fraud and should be ignored.
|Name||Help With A Family Visa Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||The recipient can obtain a large sum of money by helping the sender|
|Disguise||Letter from a Business Development Executive/Auditing Director in the Bank of Ghana|
|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
Typically, emails of this type contain a binding or tempting offer, such as the promise of a large sum of money or an investment opportunity. They often request sensitive information, such as bank details, or ask for payment upfront.
Scammers behind such emails may try to steal personal or financial information, leading to identity theft or financial loss. Also, scammers may convince the victim to send money, which may be difficult or impossible to recover. Sometimes, the scammer may also use the victim's information to commit further crimes or engage in other fraudulent activities.
Examples of similar emails are "Human Development Grant Email Scam", "Economic Devastation Recovery Relief Email Scam", and "United Nations Reimbursement Program Email Scam". It is important to mention that emails can be and are used to deliver malware.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
The malware may include viruses, Trojans, ransomware, or other types of malicious software designed to steal personal information or damage the victim's computer system.
How to avoid installation of malware?
Exercise caution and skepticism when receiving unsolicited emails, and avoid opening files or clicking on links from unknown or suspicious addresses. Keep the operating system and installed programs up to date. Use reputable antivirus software.
Download software from reputable sources (avoid using P2P networks, shady sites, third-party downloaders, etc.). Do not trust advertisements, pop-ups, and links on dubious websites.
If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "Help With A Family Visa" email letter:
Subject: FROM JAMES-THIS IS THE BUSINESS I AM PROPOSING TO YOU
Hello dear friend ,
I have contacted you for a reason.
I am Mr. James , Business Development Executive/Auditing Director in the Bank of Ghana .
I have a deal which I want to involve you in .
I assisted a New Zealand Citizen, Name- Ashley Raymond Davison to deposit his Gold&Cash in the Bank of Ghana safekeeping Vault in 2019 .
The Late Ashley Raymond Davison is into Gold trading, he comes to Ghana to buy Gold.
He deposited his Gold, Golds are in bars, quantity is 300 KG and Karat is 24 Karat .
The Gold he deposited with $1,000,000 US dollars in Cash.
I have contacted you so that through a legal process you will take possession of his Gold and the Cash.
The Gold amount is $16,500,000 Million US dollars, price of 1 KG is $55,000 USD, we will sell the Gold in Dubai or in your country.
My Share is 50% and your share is 50% .
You will help me with a family Visa to relocate with my family after this deal . .
Email me back with a reply saying you are intrested for all information you need
Be rest assured that the process of getting the Gold out from the bank Vault will be a legal process , so it is legal and safe .
Please email me your response which indicates your readiness/cooperation in this business you must have to direct to my both private email addresses ( firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com ) . I wait for an urgent reply to my both email addresses in this letter .
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 Help With A Family Visa fraudulent proposal?
- 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?
It is likely that you received this email randomly, as scammers often send out large numbers of unsolicited emails in the hopes of tricking someone into falling for their scam. Alternatively, scammers may have obtained your email address through a data breach or purchased it on the dark web.
I have provided my personal information when tricked by this email, what should I do?
Depending on the provided information, immediately change any passwords associated with the compromised data, and enable two-factor authentication where possible. Contact your bank to inform them of the fraud. Report the scam to the appropriate authorities.
I have downloaded and opened a malicious file attached to an email, is my computer infected?
Opening an executable file would likely result in an infection, whereas opening a document file such as a .pdf or .doc may not necessarily lead to an infection, as some malware requires more than just opening the document to infiltrate the system.
I have read the email but did not open the attachment, is my computer infected?
Merely opening an email is not dangerous in and of itself. It is only when the user clicks on links contained within the email or opens attachments that system infections may occur.
Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?
Combo Cleaner is able to identify and remove nearly all known malware infections, although it should be noted that advanced malware often conceals itself deep within the system. Thus, performing a full system scan is essential to ensure the complete detection and removal of any potential threats.
▼ Show Discussion