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. BROWN CATHY" at "MICROSOFT™ USER AWARD-Email-Lottery" telling you that "your email address won in the second category" or something similar, and to contact "Mr. Richard Baloyi, RSA-CLAIM MANAGER" 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. Microsoft is also not in business to "fight poverty around the world".
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™ USER AWARD-Email-Lottery".
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.
Sent from: microsoft lottery [ firstname.lastname@example.org ]
MOTTO: FIGHTING POVERTY AROUND THE WORLD
FROM: THE DESK OF THE MICROSOFT™ PROMOTIONS MANAGER
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT,
61-70 SOUTHAMPTON ROW, BLOOMSBURY LONDON
UNITED KINGDOM WC1B 4AR.
Serial No: SALP97585.
FILE No: B665 75608567.
Security code: ZA/183/RR
ELECTRONIC EMAIL AWARD WINNING NOTIFICATION AWARD PRESENTATION CENTER :
Microsoft™ Corporation management worldwide is pleased to inform you that you are a winner of our annual MICROSOFT™ USER AWARD-Email-Lottery conducted in United Kingdom.
Your personal e-mail address or company email was attached to
Serial No: SALP97585. Consequently winning in the first lottery category as winner number 7. Further more your details (e-mail address) falls within our African representative office in Johannesburg, South Africa, as indicated in your play coupon and your prize $1,000,000,00 will be released to you through our corresponding agent.
You have therefore been approved for a total sums of USD$1,000,000,00. (One Million United States Dollars Only)
Credited to FILE No: B665 75608567. With REF.:PEC/9030108308/07.
This is from total prize money of $60,000,000, shared among the Sixty (60) lucky Worldwide winners in this category.
All participants were selected through our Microsoft computer ballot system, drawn from Canada, Asia, Australia, United States, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Oceania .As part of international "MICROSOFT™ USER" promotions program, this is conducted annually.
CALL OR CONTACT CLAIM OFFICE THROUGH EMAIL
Mr. Richard Baloyi
Tel: 27 73 916 8355Remember, all prize money must be claimed within 30 days of this
notification. All funds not claimed on or before the fixed date
will be returned as unclaimed and donated to charity organizations.
Congratulations, once more from the entire management and staff of
Microsoft™ corporation to all our lucky winners this year.
Thank you for being part of this promotional lottery program.
MRS. BROWN CATHY
Please call your claim agent if your mail was not responded to within 24 hours:
PLEASE SEND A COPY OF YOUR CONTACT INFORMATIONS TO BOTH EMAILS PROVIDED ABOVE.
1, Full Names:
2, Date of birth:
3, Present Contact Address:
4, Country Of Residence:
6, Your Winning Serial and Ref. No.:
7, Winning Email Address:
10 Total amount won:
What would you like to do with the winning fund?
For Security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information CONFIDENTIAL
Microsoft™ takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the information in this email is accurate.
However, the company gives no warranty, whether express or implied, regarding the content of this email, nor do we accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from your receipt of this message. Any decision made by an individual based on information in this email is the responsibility of that individual alone. You have to note that the only person that have the right to represent you in your claim is your appointed Agent only.
Copyright © 1998-2007 The MICROSOFT™ Inc.
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