How to identify scams like "Claim Sum Release"

Also Known As: Claim Sum Release phishing campaign
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "Claim Sum Release"?

We have examined this email and discovered that it is a scam email masquerading as a letter regarding a large amount of money that has been supposedly stolen from the recipient. The intent of the scammers behind this email is to deceive the recipient into divulging personal information and (or) transferring money. Such emails must be ignored.

Claim Sum Release email scam

More about the "Claim Sum Release" scam email

This fraudulent email notifies the recipient that scammers stole a huge sum of money from them via Western Union, MoneyGram, RIA, and World Remit. The email assures the recipient that $2,600,000.00 will be released to them within 96 hours if they provide the requested details.

The email urges the recipient to provide their name, address, telephone number, age, sex, and occupational status by sending this info to the specified email address to simplify compensation. Recipients of this email should be careful as scammers behind it seek to steal personal information or extract money from them.

Typically, scammers behind such emails aim to obtain credit card details, ID card information, login credentials, or other details, enabling them to steal money, identities, or personal accounts or perform other malicious actions. Also, scammers may ask to pay some administration or advance fees.

Thus, recipients should not reply to emails of this kind or transfer money to avoid potential issues. It is also important to report such scams to the appropriate authorities to prevent others from becoming victims.

Threat Summary:
Name Claim Sum Release Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scammers stole a large sum of money from the recipient
Disguise Letter regarding a compensation
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

As a rule, emails of this kind are unexpected and have urgent subject lines. Scammers behind them make false promises like offering large sums of money and pretend to be representatives of well-known companies or organizations. Also, such emails tend to have spelling mistakes. By knowing these symptoms, individuals can avoid falling for phishing and similar scams.

More examples of similar scams are "IMF Grant Program", "Giveaway Of Lottery Winnings Email Scam", and "Abandoned ATM Master Card Email Scam".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Typically, when threat actors deliver malware via email, they include malicious attachments (e.g., malicious executables, MS Office documents, PDF files, or archives) or links in their emails. Malware infiltrates computers upon opening a malicious file (this can involve performing additional steps like enabling macros commands in malicious documents).

Malware can also be executed via files downloaded from websites opened via links in emails. Additionally, links sent via email can open websites designed to trigger an automatic download of malware (drive-by download).

How to avoid installation of malware?

Be careful with emails containing links or attachments (avoid opening the contents of irrelevant emails from unknown addresses). Download apps and files from official websites and app stores. Avoid interacting with ads, buttons, pop-ups, etc., while visiting questionable web pages. Keep your operating system, software, and security tools up to date.

Do not install pirated software, use cracking tools, or third-party key generators. Utilize reputable security software and scan your computer regularly. 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 "Claim Sum Release" scam email:

Subject: HELLO

To: Beneficiary

We found out that you were scammed of a huge sum of money by scammers via Western Union and MoneyGram, RIA,and also WORLD REMIT.

Note:that your claim sum of US$2,600,000.00 will be released to you within 96 Hours without any problem as soon as you Reconfirm the above requested information to us.

6)Occupation Status:

We look forward to hearing from you with required details to enhance the releasing of your US$2,600,000.00 to you.

Please contact us on our Private E-mail:Reply back to this email address  for your compensation: davidjacksonnewcontact2023@gmail.com

Yours Sincerely,
David Jackson

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Quick menu:

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 distribute identical letters to hundreds or even thousands of addresses, expecting someone to take the bait. As a rule, these emails lack any personalization.

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

If you shared any account details, update all passwords now. If you shared other personal info (like credit card or ID details), reach out to the relevant authorities right away.

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

The risk of your computer getting infected depends on the type of file you open. When activated, executable files like .exe carry a high risk of malware infection. On the other hand, opening document files poses a lower risk of infection.

Was my computer actually hacked and does the sender have any information?

Your computer was not hacked or infected. Scammers may have obtained old passwords from leaked databases containing compromised information.

How did cyber criminals get my email password?

Threat actors could have accessed your email following a data breach. Your login credentials might have been compromised in a data breach from a website where you have registered. Additionally, they could have obtained your password from a phishing website or similar fraudulent page where it was provided.

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

These transactions are almost impossible to trace, making retrieval unlikely.

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

Simply opening an email is safe. Malware can only infiltrate through email if you open malicious attachments or click on included links.

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

Combo Cleaner effectively identifies and removes malware. It is capable of detecting nearly all known malware infections. Since sophisticated malware can hide deep within the system, it is crucial to perform a full system scan to ensure 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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