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A colleague of mine just received a (spam) sms with this message:

Congratulations! Your mobile have won $1,000,000,00 Pounds with Draw# 294 64/2013. For more info & claims, contact our office on:

The smartphone automatically makes a link of the email address ofcourse. (up to the last @ sign, which seems a typo or scripting error)

What is the point of this? What do the people sending this spam message hope to gain?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Once you reply to the email address they will most likely try to phish more information from you, such as bank account number to transfer the money, name, address, card expiracy date, codes and more. This could of course be automated with a script replying to anyone sending email to that address.

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Thanks. So indeed it is not possible for some malware to suddenly appear. We just don't have to be stupid with our personal information. :) – BazzPsychoNut Aug 22 '13 at 12:13
@BazzPsychoNut He definitely didn't say it is not possible for some malware to suddenly appear, "drive by" viruses is the common name; you shouldn't visit the link regardless. – SpellingD Nov 6 '13 at 19:00

Many of these communications are for one of 2 purposes.

  1. Start a dialogue with you to try to get more information or money from yourself.
  2. See if there is a real person at your contact details so they can on-sell your contact details for money.

Almost all of these phishing type emails are after money in some form. Either more data = more money for sale on the "black market" or directly asking you for money..

In this case I would expect the response to be:

  1. "please give me your bank account number to deposit the funds": where upon doing so money will be removed from your account.
  2. "please deposit $100.00 in this account to confirm, we will then refund the money along with the rest": which you will never see your money again.
  3. No response, but a significant increase in spam messages shortly after (maybe a couple of weeks).

My suggestion is to not respond to these communications in any form.

There are other places you can submit a complaint such as the Information Commissioner's Office in the United Kingdom linked here: however I'm not sure of the capabilities of such an organisation to deal with individual fraudulent people across many countries.

However please do make a complaint to your relevant organisation as without providing information on the extent of these unwanted messages it becomes more difficult for organisations to respond and help reduce the nuisance this causes.

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Thanks for the elaborate answer! You made me look where in the Netherlands we can report spam complaints: – BazzPsychoNut Aug 22 '13 at 15:33

Another possible scenario could be exploiting some vulnerability of the phone, like this.

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Yeah, if it were a link to a website that could be dangerous. – BazzPsychoNut Aug 22 '13 at 15:30

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