August 12, 2009Bogus Microsoft Lotto with .doc Attachment
This is the 500th Spam Wars Dispatch blog posting. That's a lot of spammy crap to have written about. Phew!
And it continues. This time it's a variation of the allegedly Microsoft-sponsored lotto. The delivered email body is pretty plain:
From: Microsoft Corporation
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS YOU WERE SELECTED
This is to inform you that your email address have been selected among the 25 winners for this years Microsoft Email Lottery Award.
Download the Attachment and follow the instructions on how to claim your price.
The attachment is an MS-Word file named MSELOTTO.doc. Now even a file bearing the .doc filename extension can contain bad stuff, so I wasn't about to investigate the file head-on. I first ran the unopened file through VirusTotal, where no antivirus system recognized the file. That still didn't satisfy me, so I used another way to safely inspect the file's contents to avoid running any embedded macros or executables.
Here is an unformatted copy of the text in the document (presented here to eliminate the risk of you opening the file if you receive a copy):
[image of the British flag]
[Wikimedia image of a coat-of-arms]
[South African National Lottery logo]
FROM: THE DESK OF THE E-MAIL PROMOTIONS MANAGER INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT, MICROSOFT CORPORATION WORLD LOTTERY UNITED KINGDOM.61-70 SOUTHAMPTON ROW BLOOMSBURY LONDON UNITED KINGDOM WC1B 4AR.
REFERENCE NO: 475061725/09
BATCH NO: 705649092/188
WINNING NO: GB8701/LPRC
ELECTRONIC EMAIL AWARD WINNING NOTIFICATION AWARD PRESENTATION CENTER: UNITED KINGDOM
MICROSOFT CO-OPERATION MANAGEMENT WORLDWIDE ARE PLEASED TO INFORM YOU THAT YOU ARE A WINNER OF OUR ANNUAL MS-WORLD LOTTERY (MEGA JACKPOT LOTTO PROGRAMME) CONDUCTED ON 13th Of August 2009
YOUR PERSONAL E-MAIL ADDRESS OR COMPANY EMAIL WAS ATTACHED TO THIS YEAR’S MSEL. WITH SERIAL NUMBER 7741137002 DREW THE LUCKY NUMBERS 5-13-33-37-42, AND CONSEQUENTLY WON IN THE FIRST LOTTERY CATEGORY. YOU HAVE THEREFORE BEEN APPROVED FOR LUMP SUMS OF 1,000,000GBP (ONE MILLION GREAT BRITISH POUNDS) PAYABLE IN CASH CREDITED TO FILE REF NO: ILP/HW 475061725/09 THIS IS FROM TOTAL PRIZE MONEY OF 25,000,000GBP, SHARED AMONG THE TWENTY-FIVE (25) LUCKY INTERNATIONAL WINNERS IN FIRST AND SECOND CATEGORY.
ALL PARTICIPANTS WERE SELECTED FROM WORLDWIDE A COMPUTER BALLOTING SYSTEM THROUGH OUR MICROSOFT COMPUTER BALLOT SYSTEM DRAWN FROM 21,000 NAMES, 3,000 NAMES FROM EACH CONTINENT (CANADA, ASIA, AUSTRALIA, UNITED STATE, EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST, AFRICA AND OCEANIA, AS PART OF INTERNATIONAL "E-MAIL" PROMOTIONS PROGRAMME, WHICH IS CONDUCTED ANNUALLY FOR OUR PROMINENT MS -WORD USERS ALL OVER THE WORLD TO ENCOURAGE THE USE OF INTERNET AND COMPUTERS WORLDWIDE.
YOUR FUND (CERTIFIED CHEQUE) HAS BEEN INSURED WITH YOUR REF NO: ILP/HW-475061725/09 AND WILL BE READY FOR TRANSFER AS SOON AS YOU CONTACT YOUR CLAIM AGENT DR OSWALD MATTHEW. YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS SHOULD BE USED IN ALL CORRESPONDENCE WITH YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER, PLEASE NOTE THAT, YOU ARE TO CONTACT YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER VIA EMAIL OR TELEPHONE AS WE ARE PROMOTING THE USE OF E-MAIL. ALSO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CALL HIM TO CONFIRM YOUR WINNINGS AND GOVERNMENT TAX PAYMENT THAT IS ALL, AS HE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH THE NECESSARY DETAILS ON HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE. AS PART OF OUR SECURITY PROTOCOL YOU ARE TO QUOTE THIS SECURITY CODE MSW/DEC/XX09 TO YOUR CLAIMING AGENT. THIS IS TO PREVENT SCAM.
CONTACT YOUR CLAIMS AGENT OFFICER IN UNITED KINGDOM.
NAME: DR. OSWALD MATTHEW
PHONE: +44703[rest of mobile number removed]
NOTE: IN ORDER TO AVOID MISTAKES, PLEASE REMEMBER TO QUOTE YOUR REFERENCE AND BATCH NUMBERS AND YOUR SECURITY CODE OF MSW/DEC/XX09 IN ALL CORRESPONDENCES WITH YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER. DO NOT REPLY ANY OTHER MAILS LIKE THIS ON NET, AS THEY ARE A LOT OF SCAM ARTIST OUT THERE PRETENDING TO BE US.YOU MAY SEE MAILS LIKE THIS DO NOT REPLY. DO CONTACT YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER, DR. OSWALD MATTHEW IN UNITED KINGDOM. YOU WILL BE ASKED TO PROVIDE SOME DETAILS AND AS WELL LET YOU KNOW THE COUNTRIES OF THE PAYING CENTRES AND ALSO TO ENABLE THE OFFICE PROCEED WITH YOUR WINNING CERTIFICATE AND FILE KEEPING.
CONGRATULATIONS, ONCE MORE FROM THE ENTIRE MANAGEMENT AND STAFF OF MICROSOFT CO-OPERATION TO ALL OUR LUCKY WINNERS. THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF THIS PROMOTIONAL LOTTERY PROGRAM. OUR SPECIAL THANKS AND GRATITUDE TO ALL THE ASSOCIATES FOR ALLEVIATING POVERTY ROUND THE WORLD.
MRS ANNE ROSANNE
[Pennsylvania State Lottery winner with novelty check]
[Generic image of bundles of $100 bills]
LOTTERY SPONSORS: CHIEF SPONSORS;
MICROSOFT CORPORATION UK, MICROSOFT CORPORATION AFRICA,
MICROSOFT CORPORATION USA, MICROSOFT CORPORATION ASIA.
[tribuneindia.com photo of U.S. Powerball lottery winner]
[Michigan lottery winner photo]
[Photo of two middle-aged men embracing, loaded from International Federation for Information Processing web site for their 2003 meeting]
The method I used to view the file's content allowed me to see the URLs for all the embedded images — in other words, to see whence they were being ripped off. It would seem incongruous to me to think that someone holding a novelty check for a $349 million (clearly visible) Powerball lottery win would be representing a past Microsoft lotto winner. And all I won was a stinkin' million pounds? Pffft!!
Alas, I'll probably be writing about yet another 419 scam for my 1000th Dispatch.Posted on August 12, 2009 at 11:37 PM