'Google winner' Email Scam

'Google winner' Email Scam Description

The 'Google winner' Email Scam is not a new tactic, and some of the earliest reports date back to 2013. The latest updates from cybersecurity experts regarding the 'Google winner' email scam show that threat actors are using it to spread a banking Trojan. The 'Google winner' emails request users to provide personal information like names, address, phone number, occupation, and age before providing a corrupted document on their screens. The email used in the 'Google winner'tactic begins with the following short introduction:

'Dear Google User.
You have been selected as a winner for using Google services, attached to this email is Our Official Notification Letter for your perusal.
Larry Page,
CEO/CO-FOUNDER,
GOOGLE INC.'

The introduction is styled as a simple text message, it includes the logo of Google Inc. and mentions one of the founders of the Internet search giant — Lawrence Edward Page. Mr. Page takes the position of CEO of Alphabet Inc. that is the parent company of Google Inc. at the time of writing. Mr. Page is not associated with the 'Google winner' email scam, and his name is used to give the emails authenticity only. The 'Google winner' mail continues to list Google's official office in the United Kingdom as a way to convince the users that the email is legitimate. However, you should not fall of its petty tricks, and you should delete the email immediately. As mentioned above, the 'Google winner' Email Scam has been active as early as 2013 with minor updates registered in the following years. The 'Google winner' email recorded in January 2019 features the following body:

'We wish to congratulate you over your success in the official publication of results of the E-mail electronic online sweepstake organized by Google Inc., in conjunction with VisaÆ/MasterCardÆ International and confirmed by our co- sponsors the Foundation for the Promotion of Software Products (F.P.S.P). Over the years Google earns itsí profit mainly from advertising using their very own Google search engine, Gmail, Gala, Sify e-mail services, Google Maps, Google Apps, Orkut social networking and You Tube video sharing, which are all offered to the public for free.
Due to your active use of Google services, you have been selected as one of the Ten (10) winners in the ongoing E- mail Electronic Online Sweepstakes. Hence we believe with your prize, you will continue to be active in your patronage to Google and its Products, we wish to inform you that you are entitled to £950,000.00 GBP {Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand British Pounds}. A Bank Draft will be issued in your name by our Foreign Payment Bureau and also a Certificate of prize claim will be processed alongside your Bank Draft. All Payments will be made to you through our accredited paying bank (ELECTRONIC SWIFT TRANSFER) to your bank account in your country without you coming down to United Kingdom.
Your prize will be transferred to you upon meeting the requirements of the British Lottery Commission which includes your statutory obligations. You are advised to contact our Foreign Payment Bureau with the details below:
PAYMENT CLAIMS FORM
1) Your Full Names:
2) Your Contact Address:
3) Your Country/Nationality:
4) Your Telephone/Mobile Number(s):
5) Occupation:
6) Age/Gender:
7) Private Email Address (OPTIONAL):
8) Ever Won An Online Lottery?
Google values your right to privacy! Your information is 100% secured and will be used exclusively for the purpose of this award only.
Send all response via email to our Foreign Payment Bureau officer below:

Name: Brian Carter
Senior Vice President and Chief Legal
Email: briancarter@g-reward.com

NOTE!!! For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claims are processed and your winning prize remitted to you through our accredited paying bank. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claims and unwarranted abuse of this program please be WARNED!!!!
Congratulations from the Staffs & Members of Google Anniversary Award Team.

Larry Page,
CEO/CO-FOUNDER, GOOGLE INC.
©Copyright 2018 Google Incorporation. All rights reserved.'

One of the minor updates registered by computer security researchers includes a new email body and an attached file that installs a version of the Trickbot Trojan. The malware is installed through a macro-enabled document that may look like a technical support ticket that includes some security advises related to the £950,000.00 GBP prize listed above. PC users who receive emails with subject lines similar to 'GOOGLE PRIZE WINNING NOTICE!!!,' 'Google Lotto Winner!!!,' and 'OFFICIAL WINNING NOTIFICATION LETTER' should not respond to these messages. Threat actors are using the allure of big prizes from Google to convince users to open a corrupted Microsoft Word file and respond with personal information.

PC users are under the threat of being doxxed (doxxing is when your personal information is uploaded the open Web by a hacker unless payment is provided in some form) and losing access to your online banking account because you were compromised by the Trickbot Trojan. It is recommended to delete the 'Google winner' emails and report the email accounts used to send them to your email service provider. Do not download and open files attached to the 'Google winner' phishing messages.