Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Did you know that Microsoft has a lottery? And that they give away huge amounts of money to people simply for having "an active online email account"? This is news to Microsoft, too. If you received an email from "Mrs. Basheera Abubakar" (who appears to sign her name, "Carl A. Harrison") at "Bill Gates Lottery Award!!!" telling you that "your email address won in the second category" or something similar, and to contact "Mr. Owen Lasson" to collect your winnings, it is a scam. Microsoft has never had any lottery (and we're pretty sure they never will). Bill Gates has made that pretty clear. And, while we're on the subject, Microsoft is not, does not, and will not ever send you to DisneyWorld. They don't "test the internet", nor sponsor email lotteries to "promote use of the internet", "to promote the use of email", nor "the use of computers worldwide". Nor do they have lotteries to "promote MS Word" or "the launch of Vista", Hotmail, or other products. No lottery selects winners "using a database of email addresses", or "from websites worldwide", or from "our computer ballot system".
The scammers may change the names and details, but it is still a scam! Don't be an complete imbecile!
Below is the example of the fake email scam (the email is the scam, not any persons or companies named in the email) claiming to be from the "Bill Gates Lottery Award!!!".
Although the most important clue is that no legitimate lottery will ever email a winner, there are many other signs that this is a fraud. We have highlighted some of these in the email below, not the least of which are:
Microsoft does not have or sponsor any lottery.
Email address ballot: There is no such thing as a "computer ballot system" or "computer email draw". No one, not even Microsoft has a database of email addresses of the type or magnitude they suggest.
"No tickets were sold": You care to explain where the money comes from? Perhaps the lottery money fairy? Why would a lottery give away money to "email address randomly selected by a computer ballot draw system"? This is CLEARLY nonsense: you MUST, repeat MUST buy a ticket to have a chance of winning any lottery!
Terrible spelling, punctuation, syntax and grammar - Scammers apparently don't know how to use spell checkers. We assume they dropped out of school before that class. They use almost excessive and random CapItaLiZAtion. They often can't even spell "February" or know that "22th" ought to be "22nd". These scammers usually write at the 3rd grade level. Being non-native English speakers, they also often get first names and surnames (last names reversed), so you will frequently see names like "Mr. SMITH JAMES.", instead of "Mr. James Smith", along with the peculiar usage of periods (full stops) and spaces or the lack thereof. Real lotteries also proofread their emails and look and read more professional.
Using free email account: The scammer is writing to you from a FREE email account (Yahoo, Hotmail, Excite, AIM, Gmail, etc.). Don't you think a real organization would use it's own email, it's own domain and website?
Keep Confidential - Real lotteries THRIVE on publicity - they don't want you to keep anything secret - the publicity causes people to buy more tickets. there is NO risk of "double claiming" because they can validate where the ticket numbers were sold. The scammer want you to keep quiet because they don't want the police or ConsumerFraudreporting to hear about them! It should read: "For our own security, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential until we have finished scamming you!"
Email notification: NO REAL LOTTERY SENDS AN EMAIL TO NOTIFY WINNERS. Period. Full-stop. End of story. There mere fact ALONE that you received an email saying you won a lottery is proof that it is a scam.
Here is a typical scam lottery winning notification.
From: CUSTODY CLAIM SERVICES [ email@example.com ]
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: MSW-L/200-26937
WINNER NO: 5-17-34-37-40-46
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 LOTTO LOTTERY CONDUCTED IN AFRICA BEING THE HOST OF THE EVENT FOR THIS PRESENT YEAR MEGA JACKPOT LOTTO WINNING PROGRAMS HELD ON 1st JANARY 2008
YOUR PERSONAL E-MAIL ADDRESS OR COMPANY EMAIL WAS ATTACHED TO JANUARY MSWLL. WITH SERIAL NUMBER S/N-00168 DREW THE LUCKY NUMBERS 887-13-865-37-10-83, AND CONSEQUENTLY WON IN THE FIRST LOTTERY CATEGORY. YOU HAVE THEREFORE BEEN APPROVED FOR LUMP SUMS OF $ 2,000,000 (USD TWO MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) PAYABLE IN CASH CREDITED TO FILE REF NO: MSW-L/200-26937 THIS IS FROM TOTAL PRIZE MONEY OF $ 50,000,000 USD, SHARED AMONG THE TWENTY-FIVE (25) LUCKY INTERNATIONAL WINNERS IN FIRST CATEGORY.
ALL PARTICIPANTS WERE SELECTED FROM WORLDWIDE WEBSITES ESPECIALLY YAHOO EMAIL 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 PROGRAM, WHICH IS CONDUCTED ANNUALLY FOR OUR PROMINENT MS -WORD USERS ALL OVER THE WORLD, AND TO ENCOURAGE THE USE OF INTERNET AND COMPUTERS WORLDWIDE.
YOUR FUND (CERTIFIED CHEQUE) HAS BEEN INSURED WITH YOUR REF NO: MSW-L/200-26937 AND WILL BE READY FOR DELIVERY. IT WILL BE DELIVERED TO YOU BY ONE OF OUR CLAIM AGENT IN EUROPE AND AFRICA . YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS SHOULD BE USED IN ALL CORRESPONDENCE WITH YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER, PLEASE NOTE THAT, YOU ARE TO CONTACT YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER VIan email 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/FEB/XX08 TO YOUR CLAIMING AGENT. THIS IS TO PREVENT SCAM .Mr. Owen Lasson.Tel: +447024084884E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgCLAIMS AGENT.
REMEMBER, ALL PRIZE MONEY MUST BE CLAIMED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. ALL FUNDS NOT CLAIMED ON OR BEFORE THE FIXED DATE WILL BE RETURNED AS UNCLAIMED AND DONATED TO CHARITY ORGANIZATION IN AFRICA.
NOTE: IN ORDER TO AVOID MISTAKES, PLEASE REMEMBER TO QUOTE YOUR REFERENCE AND BATCH NUMBERS AND YOUR SECURITY CODE OF MSW/FEB/XX08 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 CALL YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER MR. OWEN LASSON IN LONDON AT ONCE YOU WILL BE ASKED TO PROVIDE SOME DETAILS 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 THIS YEAR. THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF THIS PROMOTIONAL LOTTERY PROGRAM. OUR SPECIAL THANKS AND GRATITUDE TO BILL GATES OF MICROSOFT AND ALL HIS ASSOCIATES FOR ALLEVIATING POVERTY ROUND THE WORLD.
Mrs. Basheera Abubakar Mrs. Caro Smith
LOTTERY SPONSORS: CHIEF SPONSORS;
MICROSOFT CORPORATION UK, MICROSOFT CORPORATION AFRICA,
MICROSOFT CORPORATION USA, MICROSOFT CORPORATION ASIA .
Endeavour to email your claim agent with the required datas below :
8. WINNER NUMBER: _____________
10. AMOUNT WON:__________________________
11.YOUR RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS_______________________