Avoid getting scammed by fake "Seeking Partnership Investment" emails

Also Known As: "Seeking Partnership Investment" phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "Seeking Partnership Investment"?

After reading this "Seeking Partnership Investment" email, we determined that it is spam. The scam letter was supposedly sent by an officer of a US bank; they want to establish a partnership with the recipient wherein they will pretend to be a relative of a deceased millionaire. Through this scheme, the user will allegedly be sent 18.5 million USD, which will then be invested and donated based on the agreement of the recipient and sender.

It must be stressed that this email is fake and it is not associated with any public figures or legitimate entities. The goal of this phishing mail is to trick victims into providing sensitive data and potentially sending money to scammers.

Seeking Partnership Investment email spam campaign

"Seeking Partnership Investment" email scam overview

The spam email with the subject "SEEKING PARTNERSHIP INVESTMENT" (may vary) presents the sender as the "chief auditing and accounting officer" of a reputable US bank (unspecified). If the recipient is interested in cooperating, the sender will invest in their country.

The letter claims that a millionaire from Germany, who had been a client of the sender's bank, had passed away alongside his family in an automobile accident. Since his death in 2015, no relatives have come forth to claim the 18.5 million USD. At the end of this fiscal year, the government will take these funds – per US financial inheritance law.

The sender proposes to present the recipient as the deceased client's relative and release the money to them. Further details on how this will be carried out and how the funds will be used will be discussed after the recipient agrees.

As mentioned in the introduction, all the information provided by the "Seeking Partnership Investment" email is false, and this mail is in no way associated with any real public figures, banks, or other legitimate entities.

This phishing letter requests the recipient to provide the following information before proceeding with this fake scheme – their full name, age, gender, nationality, profession, address, and telephone number. Scammers can abuse this data for a variety of nefarious deeds, including identity theft.

Additionally, cyber criminals may ask victims to make bogus payments, such as handling taxes, paying transaction fees, etc. Typically, money is acquired using difficult-to-trace methods (e.g., cryptocurrencies, gift cards, cash hidden in packages and shipped, etc.), thus diminishing the chances of successfully prosecuting the criminals and preventing victims from recovering their funds.

In summary, victims of scam mail like "Seeking Partnership Investment" can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

If you have disclosed personally identifiable or finance-related information to scammers – immediately contact the corresponding authorities.

Threat Summary:
Name "Seeking Partnership Investment" phishing email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Recipient will be sent 18.5 million USD for investment/donation if they agree with the sender's deal.
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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Phishing spam campaign examples

"Specification For The Item Requested", "Subscribed Domain Used For Spamming Purposes", "T-Mobile Network Global Funds Relief", and "EUROJACKPOT email scam" are merely some of our newest articles on phishing emails.

This mail primarily seeks personally identifiable information, finance-related data, and log-in credentials for various accounts (e.g., emails, social media, messengers, online stores, banks, digital wallets, etc.).

While the commonly held belief that spam emails are full of grammatical/spelling errors is not untrue, it is not always the case. These letters can be well-made and even competently disguised as messages from genuine corporations, companies, organizations, authorities, service providers, and other entities. Therefore, we highly recommend exercising caution with incoming emails, PMs/DMs, SMSes, and other messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam campaigns spread malware by distributing malicious files as attachments or download links. These files come in various formats, e.g., documents (PDF, Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), JavaScript, and so forth. When a virulent file is opened – the system infection process is initiated.

However, some formats require additional user interaction to trigger malware download/installation chains. For example, Microsoft Office files need users to enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), while OneNote documents require them to click embedded links/files.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is essential to approach incoming emails and other messages with care. We advise against opening attachments or links present in suspicious/irrelevant mail, as they can be infectious.

It must be mentioned that malware is not proliferated only through spam mail. Therefore, we recommend caution when browsing since fake and malicious online content typically appears legitimate and innocuous.

Furthermore, all downloads must be made from official and trustworthy sources. Another recommendation is to activate and update programs using genuine functions/tools, as illegal activation tools ("cracks") and third-party updates can contain malware.

We must emphasize the importance of having a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated. This software must be used to perform regular system scans and to remove threats and issues. 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 "Seeking Partnership Investment" email letter:



Dear friend,

Please excuse me for invading your privacy. I am currently seeking partnership investment in your country as I intend to invest in your country as long as you are able to work with me and run this business. You don't know me, but I received your information while searching for business partners in your country.

I am the chief auditing and accounting officer of a reputable bank here in the United States. In my department, we discovered an amount of USD 18.5 million in an account of one of our foreign clients (MR. ANDREAS FICHTNER from Munich, Germany) who died in a car accident in July 2015 along with his entire family. Since we received information of his death, we have been expecting his next of kin or relatives to the deceased as stated in our banking policies and laws, but unfortunately we have learned that all of his supposed next of kin or relatives died along with him in the automatic crash no one behind the claim. Upon this discovery I have decided to bring this business proposal to you and release the money to you as relatives or relatives of the deceased for security reasons and for later payment as no one is coming for this and we do not want money to go into the as an unclaimed bill to access the bank.


Upon this discovery I have decided to bring you this business proposal and to facilitate the release of this money for you as a relative of the deceased client as no one is coming for the claims. Under US financial inheritance laws, monies unclaimed by a US financial institution after a period of 15 years will be reported to the US government as unclaimed monies. So the government will officially adopt this fund at the end of this fiscal year and I don't want these funds to be reported to the US government. Rather, I want us to work together and release the funds to you so that we can issue some to charity in your country.

I will assemble all the necessary legal documents that will be used to secure our claim and all I need is your honest cooperation so we can go through with this deal. I guarantee that this will be done under a legitimate agreement that will protect you from breaking the law. Please contact me via email so we can discuss further details. I can send you my international passport and have 20+ years banking experience is 100% risk free once you follow my guidelines.
Please provide the following details as we have a few days to do so. This is very important please.

1. Full Name:
2. Your direct mobile number:
3. Your contact address:
4. Your profession:
5. Your Nationality:
6. Your gender / age:

I will explain it to you in more detail once I receive your reply.

Best regards,

Mr. Jackson Peterson

This e-mail is a private communication and may contain confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient, please note that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the information contained in or attached to this e-mail is strictly prohibited. Please notify the sender of the delivery error by replying to this message and then delete this e-mail. Thank you.

Appearance of the the "Seeking Partnership Investment" spam email (GIF):

Seeking Partnership Investment scam email appearance (GIF)

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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?

Spam emails are not personal (even if they include details relevant to the recipients). Cyber criminals distribute this mail by the thousand with the hopes that at least some recipients will fall for their scams.

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

If you have disclosed your log-in credentials – change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and inform their official support without delay. However, if you have provided information of a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, passport photos/scans, credit card numbers, etc.) – immediately contact relevant authorities.

I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

No, opening/reading an email is harmless. Systems are infected when malicious attachments or links are opened/clicked.

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

If the opened file was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes – your device was compromised. However, you might have avoided the infection if it was a document (.doc, .pdf, .xls, .one, etc.). These formats may need extra actions (e.g., enabling macros, clicking embedded files/links, etc.) to initiate malware download/installation processes.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate most of the known malware infections. Note that since high-end malicious programs usually hide deep within systems – performing a full system scan is crucial.

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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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