How to identify scams like "Canada - Powerball" fake lottery winning notification

Also Known As: "Canada - Powerball" phishing email
Damage level: Medium

What is "Canada - Powerball" email scam?

Our inspection of the email has shown that it is a phishing attempt. This email is disguised as a letter regarding a lottery winning. The scammers behind this campaign aim to lure recipients into providing personal details and (or) sending them money. Emails of this kind should be ignored.

Canada - Powerball email spam campaign

More about the "Canada - Powerball" scam email

This scam email claims that the recipient's email address has won $500,000 in a Powerball International lottery allegedly organized by the Canadian Government and Powerball International. It provides a ticket number (and other fake details) and a contact in South Africa (supposedly Mr. Calvin Harrison) for claiming the prize.

The email asks the recipient to contact Mr. Harrison via phone (+27688500879) or email (harisoncalvin@yandex.com). Once contacted, the scammers might try to extract personal information or money under the pretense of processing the winnings. For instance, they may ask to provide credit card details, name, surname, phone number, etc., or pay some "administration" or other fees to claim the prize.

It is worth noting that this email has a file attached to it. In this file, there is another notification about a lottery winning. It contains more or less the same information as the email with a request for details like full name, address, nationality, sex, age, phone/fax, and occupation.

Overall, recipients should be careful with emails like this one to avoid issues like identity theft, monetary loss, or other consequences. It is important to make sure received emails are legitimate before providing any personal information, making payments, or taking other actions.

Threat Summary:
Name Canada - Powerball Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim The recipient's email has been selected as the winner of $500,000
Disguise Letter from Ms. Janet Clarkson (Sec. Zonal Co-coordinator)
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

Such emails are lottery scams designed to deceive recipients into providing personal information or sending money. It is important to recognize that legitimate lotteries do not notify winners via unsolicited emails, and any request for personal details or payment is an indicator of fraud. Always verify the legitimacy of such claims through official websites or other channels, and never respond to suspicious emails.

Some examples of scam emails created to steal money and (or) information are "WalletConnect Temporary Closure", "Your Email Account Needs To Be Re-verified", and "Independent Committee Of Eminent Persons (ICEP)".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Emails designed to deceive users into running malware on their computers contain malicious links or attachments. Clicking these links can direct users to websites that either trick them into downloading malware or initiate automatic downloads. Opening malicious attachments may not always cause an immediate infection.

For example, malicious MS Office files require macro commands to be enabled to infect computers, and archive files only pose a threat once their malicious contents are extracted and executed. Other file types commonly used to deliver malware via email (and other channels) are PDFs, executables, JavaScript files, and ISO files.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Download software (and files) from official websites or app stores. Avoid using P2P networks, third-party downloaders, unofficial sites, etc., for downloads or downloading pirated software, cracking tools, or key generators. Be careful with unexpected emails from unknown addresses, especially when they contain files or links. Do not open their contents if you are not sure of their legitimacy.

Avoid interacting with pop-ups, offers, ads, etc., on questionable sites. Do not permit shady websites to send notifications to your device. Keep the operating system and installed programs up to date and utilize a reputable security tool.

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 "Canada - Powerball" email letter:

Subject: Congrats your email id has won.

Canada - Powerball Int’l Annual Promotional Draw
1550 Princess Street, Kingston, ON, Canada, K7M 9E3
Attention: Customer AFRSA680

Ticket Number: A9564 75604546 001
Ref: EAAL/158OYHI/24
Batch No. Lotto 6/49

Congratulations to you as we bring to your notice, the results of the First Category draws of Powerball International lottery online lucky program organized by the Canadian Government in conjunction with POWERBALL INTERNATIONAL. We are happy to inform you that your email address attached to Ticket #.: A9564 75604546 001 drew the Winning #.: 4- 27- 44- 50- 64 with bonus #.7, have emerged a winner of a total sum of US$500,000.00(Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars), in cash credited to file EAAL/158OYHI/24.This is from a total cash prize of 50 Million Dollars, shared amongst the first Hundred and (100) lucky winners in this category.

To file for your claim, please contact our corresponding payment Agent in South Africa immediately you read this message for quick and urgent release of your fund, contact information is as follows:


Phone: +27688500879

CONTACT EMAIL:  harisoncalvin@yandex.com

Yours Sincerely,

Ms. Janet Clarkson (Sec. Zonal Co-coordinator).

File attached to this email:


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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?

Typically, scammers send these emails to numerous recipients without targeting anyone specifically. Their aim is to deceive at least one of more individuals.

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

If you have shared any account login details (such as usernames and passwords) with scammers, it is important to update all your passwords right away. For any other personal information, such as credit card details, social security numbers, or ID card information, make sure to report it promptly to the appropriate authorities.

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

The file attached to this email does not contain malware. However, opening files included in fraudulent emails can lead to computer infections.

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

Transactions of this nature are untraceable, making it impossible to recover the funds once they are lost.

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

Simply opening an email poses no risk. However, clicking on links within the email or opening attached files can potentially lead to system infections.

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

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and remove almost all known malware. It is important to note that high-end malware usually hides deep in the system. Therefore, running a full system scan is a must.

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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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