FIFA World Cup Lottery Scam

The FIFA World Cup is scheduled for 2010 in South Africa and scammers have already started using this news to trick people into giving out their personal details.

Targetting peopleA new scam email is sent to people telling them they won a lottery. The email is full of interesting things to catch people’s attention such as a large dollar amount ($850,000) and social tricks such as asking them not to tell anyone about their winnings.

At the end they ask the recipient to send them a few personal details, which the scammers then use to steal money from your bank accounts.

The email uses broken English and is full of "official looking" random letters and numbers.

Below are some quotes from the scam email. If you receive this email just delete it.

South Africa FIFA World Cup 2010
Government Accredited Licensed!!
Online National Lottery South African
Batch: 12/25/DC34 RE:LOTTO

Your email have luckily won the sum of USD$850,000.00

Which subsequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category i.e. match 5 plus bonus. You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of $850,000.00 USD… In cash credited to file KPC/9080118308/02. All participants for the online version were selected randomly from World Wide Web sites through computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000 union associations and corporate bodies that are listed online this promotion takes place weekly.

Our agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your funds as soon as you contact him. For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claims is processed and your money remitted to you in whatever manner you deem fit to claim your prize. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program your request to fill the information below.

And it goes on and on.

Some people who fall for these things have never entered a lottery, but they want to believe it so much that they don’t stop to consider why they were selected.

Now you might be wondering who could possibly be so foolish to fall for lottery scams. In fact, a large number of people fall for these things. In Australia alone (and with a small population of 21 million) 329,000 people lost money to lottery and phishing scams in one year. 3.6 million people fell for these scams in USA. Imagine how many people worldwide fall for these things.

Not everyone in the world reads You can help by talking to people about lottery scams, making them aware of what they are and how they work (there’s more information here). Help educate people, especially those who are less tech savvy or might be desperate for money. You could also help them subscribe to – get them to enter their email address in the top right corner of this page, sometimes email is an easier way to receive these updates.

Keep the wolves at bay

Credit Card Fraud – Fake Confirmation Number

If you work in a retail store or any other business that accepts credit cards in person, please be aware of the follow fraud tactic that was recently used.

  • 2 customers walk into a retail store
  • They select $8000 worth of products
  • At the checkout they present a credit card
  • The credit card is rejected
  • The customers say something along the lines of

    "Oh I knew that would happen. Please call my bank, here’s the number"

  • The store attendant calls the number provided by the customers
  • The person at the end of the phone approves the purchase and gives the store attendant some kind of confirmation number
  • The customers walk out of the store with $8000 worth of products

The number they gave wasn’t a real bank’s phone number. It was their friend answering the call.

Lesson to be learnt? Don’t call the number given to you by the purchaser. Look it up yourself or call your phone company’s directory service.

The full article is here.

Malicious Firefox Add-On

One of the best things you can do to avoid falling victim to malware is to use an alternative browser.

poppies Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) is very popular. Not long ago almost everyone used IE, it comes setup with almost every new PC sold (Windows PCs). And malware writers targeted IE because they could attack a majority of users just by concentrating on exploiting one browser. You could call it tall poppy syndrome.

Today Firefox is extremely popular. It’s gone from a small minority of people using it to an amazing 44% (depending on which statistics you read – I used this one). This makes for a fairly large demographic, and malware writers are taking notice.

There’s a new trojan that hides in a Firefox add-on. Once installed it waits for you to go to an online banking site. When it detects that you’re using online banking it starts recording your actions (account details, your password). Then it sends this off to cyber criminals who auction off your details and eventually someone can log into your online banking and transfer money. This isn’t good.

There are a few things you can do to avoid this:

  • If you want to install an add-on for Firefox, make sure you get it from a well known site. This is the official Mozilla site for Firefox add-ons:
  • Use a good anti-virus package (it’s a small investment you make to protect your PC). Make sure it’s kept up to date.
  • Once a web browser becomes too popular it’s time to start looking at less mainstream alternatives. At the moment you should consider Opera, Safari and Chrome (these are available for all the popular platforms)

In summary, Firefox is a very secure browser. It’s also fast and powerful, explaining why it’s become so popular. You just shouldn’t take its security for granted. Most malware infections happen when users are tricked into clicking something they shouldn’t have.

Fake McDonald’s Survey

There’s a new phishing email that takes readers to a fake survey claiming to be from McDonald’s (the fast food company). It’s similar to this one seen recently.

The email suggests that McDonald’s will give you $75 for filling in the survey. Clicking on the link takes you to a web site with a survey and some McDonald’s images.

When you submit the survey form it then asks you for:

  • Your full name
  • Your email address
  • Your credit card number
  • Your credit card’s expiry date
  • Your credit card’s security code

This information is collected and later used for fraudulent purposes (i.e. to make purchases using your credit card). If you receive this email or similar ones just delete them. Don’t be tempted by whatever they promise to give you.

And remember that to fill in a survey form there’s never any reason to give out your credit card details. It’s always a scam.

Fake Survey Emails

A fake email has been sent claiming that¬†JP Morgan Chase (a financial services company) will pay you $50 for filling in a survey. Sounds tempting, except that the link they want you to click on does not take you to the real JP Morgan Chase’s web site.

Instead it takes you to a fake web site with a form asking you a few questions (the form looks like a real survey). At the end it asks you for your full name, credit card number, expiry date, and PIN number! This kind of trick is known as phishing. Any information you enter here is collected and eventually used to steal money from people’s accounts.

The idea is to entice you with filling in a survey by promising a reward ($50), making their site look like it’s from a large company, then collecting private information that you really shouldn’t be giving out to anyone.

The email reads:

Online Survey – Add 50$ to your account in 2 minutes!

Dear Customer,

You are invited to take part in our nation-wide 5 question survey. Your time is very important to us so $50 will be credited to your account upon the completion of this survey.

Please note that no sensitive information will be required, collected or stored. The information will be used to further improve our services

To take part please click here

So if you see any emails like this just delete them. Also keep in mind that a good anti-virus package can often detect you’re going to a fake web site and stop you.

Western Union Emails

The following email pretends to be from Western Union. It contains an attachment and the body of the email asks readers to open the attachment.

The attachment is malware. This is another malicious email that uses a creative story to trick people into opening an attachment and letting a malicious program install itself. Don’t fall for it.

Below is an extract of the email:


Attention! The wire sent to Kiril Fadeev, Moscow, Russia has been blocked by our security service.

Your credit card issuing bank has halted the transaction by the demand of the Federal Criminal Investigation Service (case No. 43125 since the recipient has been undergoing the international retrieval by the InterPol.

Please contact the closest Western Union office and make sure you have your ID card, the credit card that was used for making the payment, and the invoice file with you.

(The invoice file is attached to this message; please print it out and hand it to our agent.)

You can find the address of the closest Western Union agent on our website at

Thank you!

Just delete and ignore these emails.

Fake FBI Email

Here’s a scam email claiming to be from the FBI. There are at least two things wrong with this email:

  • The web address they publish is – this is not the real FBI’s address (their real site is Instead it shows a lot of ads and the publishers make money every time you click on a link on that site.
  • The email address provided is is a free email service, similar to Hotmail or Gmail. The real FBI would not be using a free email service

Below is a copy of the scam email (to help Google index this page and in turn help people find out about the scam):

20535-0001, USA .

Kind Attention,

We believe this notification meets you in a very good state of mind and health. The FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI) Washington, D.C United States of America in conjunction with some other relevant Investigative Agencies here in the USA have recently been informed through our Global intelligence monitoring network that you have a pending FUND transaction with a Bank regarding to an over-due Inheritance / Award payment which was fully endorsed to be paid in your favor.It might interest you to know that we have taken out time in screening through this whole transaction as stipulated on our protocol of operation and have finally confirmed that BARCLAYS BANK PLC, is the authorized financial institution scheduled to make your payment in line with their remittance requirements. Several investigations by us have shown that you have been dealing with some unauthorized persons and banks regarding the transfer of these funds to your bank account.

Our UK attachee agent recently had a meeting with the Manager of BARCLAYS BANK PLC, in the person of MR. NAIL WIHTE along with some other top officials of BARCLAYS BANK PLC, regarding your case and they made us to understand that your file has been held in abase pending when you personally file for your claims. They intimated him that the only problem they are facing right now is that some unscrupulous element are using this project as an avenue to scam innocent people off their hard earned money by impersonating to be STAFF OF BANKS and its affiliates.

We were also made to understand that a lady with name Mrs. Joan C. Bailey from Ohio, United Of America has already contacted them and also presented to them all the necessary documentations evidencing your claim purported to have been signed personally by you prior to the release of your funds to her, though they insisted on hearing from you personally before they could go ahead on wiring the funds to the Bank information provided by the above named Lady. It is basically one of the main reasons why they contacted us, to enable us assist them in carrying out proper investigation and subsequently informing you of their mandate to Remitting your funds.

Most importnatly, We advise that you discontinue further dealings with any person or organization posing as staff or affiliate of any bank or agency concerning the transfer of your funds. In your own interest, You are advised to immediately contact BARCLAYS BANK PLC, LONDON on the following details for the onward remittance of your funds.

ADDRESS: P. O. BOX 738, Eagle Court 75 King Street,
Hammersmith London, W6 9HY, U. K.
Direct Tel: +447024062992
Official Website:

Ensure that you comply to all their remittance procedures and also furnish them with your full details (Full names and address, direct telephone and fax numbers, source of funds,Expected Amount, etc) to enable them in their verification processes before the release of your funds.

Best Regards,
Agent Lavine F. Ferdon.
FBI Special Agent.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington DC, USA.

Delete and ignore any emails you receive like this.

Fake Olympics Tickets Site

There’s a report that the web site is a scam. The website has been selling tickets for the Beijing Olympics and has failed to actually deliver anything. Quite a few people have lost large amounts of money buying tickets on this site.

Another website that was recently shut down for a similar scam is

Read the full article here.

Google Calendar Phishing

password Here’s a new spin in phishing attacks. The idea is to trick people into providing confidential data. This new technique is aimed at Gmail users. Here’s how it works:

  • An email arrives in your Gmail inbox. It’s a genuine email addressed to you so Gmail won’t filter it out.
  • The email was sent by someone called "customer care". This is enough to get most people’s attention.
  • The email is well laid out with a link to your Gmail calendar. This is pretty special as far as spam goes. How did they get a valid link to a calendar entry in there? (Spammers found a way to place calendar entries in other people’s Gmail calendar).
  • The email says:


This Email is from Gmail Customer Care and we are sending it to every Gmail Email User Accounts Owner for safety. we are having congestions due to the anonymous registration of Gmail accounts so we are shutting down some Gmail accounts and your account was among those to be deleted.We are sending you this email to so that you can verify and let us know if you still want to use this account. (…)

You will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Information below after clicking the reply button, or your account will be suspended within 24 hours for security reasons.

* Username:

* Password:

It’s an attempt to get you to provide your username and password. If you see anything like that simply delete it.