How to spot scams like DHL Lottery

Also Known As: DHL Lottery scam
Damage level: Medium

What is "DHL Lottery"?

Upon analysis, we have determined that this email is a lottery scam crafted by scammers to entice recipients to divulge personal information and send money. This particular letter is disguised as a notification from DHL concerning a prize. It should be disregarded to prevent financial loss and other possible issues.

DHL Lottery email spam campaign

More about the "DHL Lottery" scam email

The scam email has the subject line "Attention Dear Beneficiary" and starts with the greeting "Dear Lucky Winner". It claims to be from DHL Company in Washington D.C., notifying the recipient that their email address has won $4,700,000.00 in a lottery held by MULTI LOTTO. The email states that the prize money has been converted into an ATM Visa Card, which will be delivered via courier.

The recipient is urged to pay a $200 processing fee to receive the ATM card, with payment options including Bitcoin, Zelle, or gift cards. The email requests personal information such as full name, country, phone number, city, and home address for delivery.

There is a warning that failure to provide the requested information within two working days may result in legal action or investigation by the FBI. The sender poses as Mr. Oscar William, Assistant Manager of DHL Courier Company, providing an address in Washington, D.C. However, the email exhibits several red flags of a scam, including unsolicited lottery winnings, urgent payment requests, and threats of legal action.

It is important to note that once victims provide their personal information or pay the requested fee, the scammers use that information for identity theft or other fraudulent activities, and the promised prize never materializes.

Threat Summary:
Name DHL Lottery Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim The recipient has won $4,700,000.00
Disguise Notification from DHL
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 scam emails in general

These scams often involve unsolicited notifications claiming the recipient has won a large sum of money in a lottery or sweepstakes despite the individual not having entered any such contest. The scam emails or messages often use urgent language, pressuring recipients to act quickly to claim their prize.

Additionally, they request personal information and (or) payment of a processing fee to receive the supposed winnings. These scams frequently impersonate legitimate organizations or companies, aiming to appear credible and trustworthy.

Examples of similar scams are "Internationalen Lotteriekommission", "Asian Welfare Lottery", and "Scam Relief Fund Initiative". It should be noted that emails sent by cybercriminals can be used to distribute malicious software.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Users can inadvertently infect their computers via email by opening malicious attachments or clicking on links contained in fraudulent emails. These emails may appear legitimate, often mimicking trusted entities such as banks, government agencies, or well-known companies.

Once opened or clicked, these attachments or links can execute malware, including ransomware, trojans, or spyware, compromising the security of the user's computer and potentially spreading to other devices or networks.

Common file types used to deliver malware via email include executable files (such as .exe), Microsoft Office documents (such as .doc or .docx), PDF files, JavaScript files (such as .js), and compressed archive files (such as .zip or .rar).

How to avoid installation of malware?

Exercise caution when handling email attachments and links, especially those from unknown or suspicious addresses. Keep software and operating systems up to date with the latest security patches. Utilize reputable antivirus or antimalware software and regularly scan the system for threats.

Practice safe browsing habits, avoid suspicious websites, and refrain from clicking on pop-ups or ads on shady pages. Never download pirated software or use cracking tools to bypass activations. 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 "DHL Lottery" email letter:

Subject: Attention Dear Beneficiary

Dear Lucky Winner.

This notification is reaching you from DHL Company in washington D.C,

This message is to bring to your notice that your email address won the sum of $4,700,000,00 USD only {FOUR MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS} in our lottery company MULTI LOTTO this month and your money is converted into ATM Visa Card to be deliver to you through Courier delivery company. Attention: (BANK OF AMERICA ATM CARD) Owner,

Since you have not received your (ATM CARD) and Pin code, we will process a new ATM Card and new Pin, then send it to your address through DHL Courier Delivery Company and you will receive it after three days or before depending on the state. Once you receive the ATM Card, it will be loaded with your total fund and the Pin will work because it will be activated before sending it to your address.

The processing of the new ATM Card and delivery charge will cost you the sum of $200, and once you send us the fee your (ATM CARD) will be prepared then moved for delivery to your address. Therefore let us know when you are sending the 200 dollars. Once we receive the fee here, It will take this bank only 24hours (2) days to deliver your package to your provided address.

We recommend that you send money of $200 via Bitcoin or Zelle, unless you want to buy gift card. We are ready to send the package to your destination address, and we also want you to hurry up to send us the $200 shipping fee

Please try your best to send your information to send me your personal information to avoid wrong delivery.

Your Full Name :::::
Your Country :::::
Your Phone Number :::::
Your City :::::
Your Home Address :::::

WARNING: failure to produce the above requirement in the next 2 working day ,legal action will be taken immediately by returning the fund back or report to FBI for investigation, means that your fund will be regards as a terrorism, drug trafficking or money laundering and they are a serious problem here in our country today. for security reasons.

Note: if you found this email in your junk/spam, it's because of your internet ISP server

Mr Oscar William
Assistant Manager of DHL Courier Company
Address: 3801 nebraska ave nw,
Washington, dc 20016, USA

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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?

Scammers send out mass emails in hopes of reaching a wide audience, increasing the likelihood of finding potential victims. Email addresses can be obtained through various means, such as data breaches, online forums, social media platforms, or purchasing email lists on the dark web.

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

If you have provided personal information after being tricked by a scam email, take immediate action to protect yourself. Contact your bank or financial institution to report unauthorized transactions and consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report. Additionally, monitor your accounts closely for suspicious activity and consider changing passwords for your email and financial accounts. Finally, report the scam to the relevant authorities.

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

Whether your computer becomes infected after downloading and opening a malicious email attachment depends on the file type. For instance, executable files (.exe) are more likely to inject malware upon opening immediately. File types like documents (.doc, .pdf) may need further action, such as enabling macros.

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

No, recovering cryptocurrency sent to scammers is highly unlikely. Cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible, making it difficult to recover funds once they have been sent.

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

Simply opening an email poses no risk, but clicking links or opening attached files can lead to system infections.

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

Certainly, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate nearly all known malware infections. It is important to note that sophisticated malware often hides deep within the system. Therefore, users should run a full system scan for successful detection and removal.

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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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