- Internet & the Web
Spam Alert: Your eMail Has Won You £500,000.00 GB Pounds
A new email threat has begun circulating.
Please read the following information carefully. Emails such as this are a thinly disguised attempt to exploit unsuspecting computer users. If enough emails of this type are sent out, the spammer will almost always receive a few responses. It's a 'numbers game' : huge volumes of spam are sent out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year in the hope of fooling just a few folks. Don't get fooled again.
Subject: Your eMail Has Won You £500,000.00 GB Pounds
Text: Your email has won a prize of(£500,000.00 GBP)From the Microsoft Corporation Dra w held today.contact Mr. Josh Ivan for claim with your name: joshivanclaims@hotm ail.co.uk
Origin: IP Address 188.8.131.52, Zimbabwe
Threat Level: Email harvesting for potential identify theft and additional spam generation.
Exposure: Responding to the email will reveal your contact information to the sender of the spam, which may or may not be legitimate. Responding to the email address included in the text of the message will reveal your email address to the recipient.
Pragmatism: While Microsoft probably has 500,000 GB pounds to give away, they wouldn't use this technique. The 'reply to' address is a HotMail.com address, which is a service that belongs to Microsoft, but HotMail addresses are free to anyone who wants to create one or two or a thousand. A legitimate Microsoft contact address would use the Microsoft.com domain. If you did win the money, you would expect the email to know a little more about you, such as your name. The text of the message is too general to be legitimate; it could apply to anyone.
- Delete the email.
- Do not respond to it. Never reveal your contact information, social security number, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, or any other personal information to an untrusted web site or email sender. Simply responding to the message confirms to the recipient that you actually exist.
- Never open any attachments from untrusted senders.
- Never forward attachments from untrusted senders.
Background: Receiving this message implies that somehow your email address has been added to a spammer's database. This is not your fault. Email lists are traded between legitimate businesses and sometimes the information is stolen or hijacked by disreputable spammers. If you ever used your email address to register for a contest, sign up for a legitimate mailing list, or purchase something, you will inevitably be added to spam email lists. In some cases an individual home computer becomes infected with a virus and the contact list from that computer is transferred to a spammers computer without the knowledge of the original user. You will never discover how you got on the list; don't blame yourself.
- Report the spam to the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/spam/.
- Upgrade your anti-spam software on your computer