How to avoid falling for scams like the "Cashier Check" email scam

Also Known As: Cashier Check spam campaign
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "Cashier Check"?

After careful examination, it has been established that this email is a fraudulent scheme designed to deceive recipients into thinking they have been selected as beneficiaries with the prospect of receiving a substantial sum of money. Typically, the perpetrators behind such emails aim to extract personal information or solicit funds from unsuspecting individuals.

Cashier Check email spam campaign

More about the "Cashier Check" scam email

In this scam email with the subject "ATTENTION BENEFICIARY", the sender falsely claims to have received the recipient's email and acknowledges its contents. According to the email, Mr. Richard Wahl has allegedly been given instructions to release a cashier's check of 20 million USD to the recipient as a winner, accompanied by a purported donation code number.

In order to proceed with the fraudulent scheme, the recipient is instructed to provide personal details, including their full name, home address, telephone/WhatsApp number, occupation, and gender. The email suggests that furnishing this information is necessary to process the 20 Million USD cashier's check.

Additionally, the recipient is promised further details about the collection center where they can supposedly claim their winnings and take photographs with the supposed Financial Management team. The overall tone of the email aims to create a false sense of excitement and urgency, typical of scams seeking to extract personal information or money from unsuspecting individuals.

Frequently, those orchestrating such deceptive emails seek to acquire sensitive financial details, including credit card information or other banking credentials, as part of their fraudulent activities. Additionally, they may ask recipients to make payments, citing reasons like processing fees, taxes, or administrative costs.

Threat Summary:
Name Cashier Check Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipients have been selected as beneficiaries for a large amount of money
Disguise Letter from Richard Wahl
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

Emails of this kind typically share common characteristics such as unsolicited congratulatory messages, claims of unexpected windfalls or winnings, requests for personal information, and a sense of urgency. They often employ manipulative tactics to persuade recipients into divulging sensitive details or making upfront payments.

These scam emails may also contain grammatical errors, inconsistencies, and generic language, serving as red flags for careful recipients. Their shared objective is to deceive individuals into providing personal information or funds under false pretenses. Also, cybercriminals can use email to trick recipients into infecting their computers.

Some examples of similar scam campaigns are "CashAid Project", "Coetzee & Fisher Attorneys", and "Assistance To Move Funds".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Email is a common vector for threat actors to introduce malware into computers, which is achieved by including harmful links or attachments within their messages. Clicking on these links or opening attachments can initiate the download of malware onto the user's computer system.

Threat actors use various file types, including executables (.exe), PDF documents (.pdf), scripts (.js, .vbs), archives (.zip, .rar), shortcuts (.lnk), MS Office files like (.xls, .doc), installer packages (.msi, .dmg), and HTML files (.html, .htm) to distribute malware.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Exercise caution when dealing with emails urging you to open attachments or click on links. Avoid interacting with files or links in emails that seem irrelevant or unexpected and sent from unfamiliar addresses. Also, regularly update your operating system and installed software to ensure you have the latest security patches.

Enhance your defense by using trustworthy antivirus and anti-malware solutions. Steer clear of suspicious advertisements and refrain from downloading files from untrustworthy sources. Opt for official websites and reputable app stores when acquiring software to reduce the risk of encountering malicious content.

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 "Cashier Check" email letter:


Dear Beneficiary:
Congratulations to you, I received your email with the content Noted. Yes it's true Mr Richard Wahl gave me an instruction to release a Cashier Check of $20 Million USD with donation code number to you as the winner.

You are advised to send your details as stated below.

Your Full name:
Your Home address:
Your Telephone WhatsApp Number :
Your Occupation:
Your Gender:

The requested information will enable us to commence with the payment processing of the $20Million USD Cashier check and we will go ahead and give you the address of the collection center for you to come over for presentation of the cashier check and give you the opportunity to take photographs with the Financial management team.


For more inquiries email me, Congratulations once again on your winning.

Best Regards

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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?

These fraudulent emails are commonly distributed to a wide audience without discrimination, lacking personalization or specific targeting towards individuals. Scammers employ automated techniques to disseminate these emails on a large scale.

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

If youh have become a victim of a scam email and have shared personal information, take swift action by contacting your bank to report the incident. Change any compromised passwords and consider notifying relevant authorities. Exercise caution for potential identity theft and closely monitor your accounts for any suspicious activities.

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

The probability of infection varies depending on the type of file accessed. For example, executables can infect computers upon opening, whereas malicious document files usually require additional interaction from the user for the infection to take place.

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

Cryptocurrency transactions pose a challenge for tracing or recovering funds due to their untraceable nature. Once executed, these transactions are typically irreversible.

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

Merely opening an email is generally not a cause for concern. The risk arises when individuals actively engage with the email, such as clicking links or opening attached files. These actions can potentially lead to system infections and pose security threats.

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

Combo Cleaner effectively identifies and eliminates a wide range of known malware infections. It's crucial to recognize that advanced malware may hide deeply within the system. Consequently, performing a full system scan becomes imperative to ensure the comprehensive detection and removal of potential threats.

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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.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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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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