Researchers are urging users to be on the lookout for a new 419 scam that leverages a historic lottery win to trick them into handing over their personal information.
Christopher Boyd, a malware intelligence analyst at Malwarebytes, explains the scam alludes to Carol and David Martin, a wife and husband from Scottish Borders who won half of a £66m lottery jackpot--the largest ever Lotto prize--in January 2016.
Instead of mentioning them by name, however, the scam states the couple has created the "Martin Family Foundation" to provide funding to families and communities around the world.
The Martin Family Foundation does in fact exist, but it was not founded by Carol and David Martin. According to its website, John W. Martin created the Christian faith-based organisation back in 2001 to "give back to the communities in which he and his family live."
The scam strings these two narratives together to congratulate recipients on a fake £1 million reward. All they need to do is send over several pieces of personal information.
Provided below is the full text of the scam:
"You have been randomly selected by the Martin Family Foundation to receive the sum of One Million Pounds(£1 Million),After scooping £33 million - which is roughly half of Britain's biggest ever Lotto jackpot. We decided to setup a foundation which main aim is to Bring Relief and Joy to Families around the world, See News link for more on our winnings dailymail(dot)co(dot)uk/news/article-3397182/Winners-biggest-Lotto-jackpot-revealed-Husband-wife-Scotland-scoop-33million.html
Kindly forward the following information to Know more about this offer :
Your Full Name:
Date of Birth:
Martin Family Foundation."
Users are urged to not send personal information to people they don't know. Additionally, if they come across an email with a reward or offer that at first glance appears too good to be true, users should assume it probably is.