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 "MR.GERY BROOK" at "Microsoft Award Team" telling you that "your email address won in the second category" or something similar, and to contact "MR WESLEY SCHOLES" 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. Their motto is most definitely NOT "Fighting Poverty Around the World" - They are one of the richest companies on the planet!
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", to reward users, nor "to promote 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 "Microsoft Award Team".
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 the victim:
This is obviously a scam.There is a line saying " The Microsoft Internet E-mail lottery Awards is sponsored by our CEO/Chairman, Bill Gates " Now..im a 14 year old kid and yet i know that Bill gates is a Creator of Microsoft.So how can he be the chairman?He shuld be the boss!And i have lots of Spam mails.Another thing,if Microsoft was the one who host this event,the e-mail would be smthing speacial like firstname.lastname@example.org and not email@example.com (notice the yahoo.uk =.=) And will microsoft do this whatever jackpot thing?Its a waste of time!
From the scammer:
Microsoft Award Team
20 Craven Park, Harlesden
FILE REF: HL/5564/06/07/MICS
BATCH: MC11/834/5PDH /EU
The prestigious Microsoft and AOL has set out and successfully organised a Sweepstakes marking the new year anniversary for 2008, we rolled out over Ј450.000.00 (Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand pounds sterling) Draws.
Participants for the draws were randomly selected and drawn from a wide range of web hosts which we enjoy their patronage.
Your email address as indicated was drawn and attached to ticket number 008795727498 with serial numbers BTD/9080648302/06 and drew the lucky numbers 14-21-25-39-40-47(20) which subsequently won you Ј450.000.00 (Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand pounds sterling) as one of the jackpot winners in his draw. You have therefore won the entire winning sum of Ј450.000.00GBP (Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand pounds sterling)
These are your identification numbers:MCS-26799/097 CATEGORY NO.OF WINNERS WINNING PRIZES 1st. 2 Ј 500,000.00 pounds each 2nd. 8 Ј 350.000.00 pounds each 3rd. 13 Ј 250,000.00 pounds each 4th. 27 Ј 170,000.00 pounds each CLAIMS REQUIREMENTS:
1. Full names:
2. Residential address:
3. Phone number:
4. Fax number:
9. Present Country:
10.Next of kin name/address:
Mode Of Price Remittance.
(1)Cash Pick-Up (You coming Down to Uk Personally to Pick Your Price).
(2)Courier Delivery Of your Certified Winning Cheque Name and other Winning Documents safely to you.
FOREIGN TRANSFER MANAGER
MR WESLEY SCHOLES
MICROSOFT SECURITY DEPARTMENT (UK).
The Microsoft Internet E-mail lottery Awards is sponsored by our CEO/Chairman, Bill Gates and a consortium of software promotion companies. The Intel Group, Toshiba, Dell Computers and other International Companies. The Microsoft internet E-mail draw is held periodically and is organized to encourage the use of the Internet and promote computer literacy worldwide.
Once again on behalf of all our staff,
M.S.PRO. ZONAL COORDINATOR.