Fake emails are circulating that they pretend to be sent by the olympic committee to collect information from people and try to scam them. The hook is an old acquaintance in the Nigerian scam world, a succulent lottery-related award.
Users are informed in messages that they have won the lottery of the Olympic Games 2012 and to obtain the prize (800 thousand pounds sterling) they must complete a form with their details. To make the matter more serious, the email also includes a PDF document with the Olympics logo and contact information (note that this is a Hotmail email: P):
Once the information is completed and submitted, the scammers contact the victims to blackmail them and request an advance payment – generally by Western Union – that would be necessary to cover the costs of awarding the prize.
Of course, this is all a lie and once the payment is made, the victims do not have news.
Do people believe it?
Unfortunately yes, those who do not know about these deception techniques tend to believe that it is real. In an article I wrote last year about an alleged lottery by Bill Gates, you can read many comments and experiences of users who have received this kind of email.
When you receive emails like these there is also the possibility of ending up infecting the computer. Sending infected attachments that pretend to be documents is a common practice Did you know that your computer can be infected simply by opening a PDF?
Of course, PDF documents themselves are not malicious, not to be confused, but they can be used as a way of infection. When a specially manipulated document is opened with a vulnerable program, such as an outdated version of Adobe Reader, the computer can become infected.
In fact, a few hours ago, a modified calendar of the Olympics was detected in circulation, including exploits to exploit vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader 9 and earlier versions. That is why it is always recommended update applications and avoid opening documents of unknown origin.
If you want to learn more about the subject and see it with your own eyes, in this article I published a video where I show in a controlled environment the entire process, from the creation of a malicious PDF to the infection of a computer for opening the document.