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 "MICROSOFT CORPORATION WORD LOTTERY UNITED KINGDOM." at "MICROSOFT COOPERATION MANAGEMENT WORLDWIDE" telling you that "your email address won in the second category" or something similar, and to contact "Dr JOHN GERRI (Chief Claim Agent)" 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". Nor do they have lotteries to "promote MS Word" or "the launch of Vista", Hotmail, or other products.
The scammers may change the names and details, but it is still a scam!
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 COOPERATION MANAGEMENT WORLDWIDE".
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.
CONGRATULATION FROM MICROSOFT
Thu, 3 Jan 2008 17:15:26 +0200
FROM: THE DESK OF MICROSOFT CORPORATION WORD LOTTERY UNITED KINGDOM.
61-70 Southampton Row,Bloomsbury London, United Kingdom WC1B 4AR.
MICROSOFT COOPERATION MANAGEMENT WORLDWIDE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE TO ALL THE WINNERS OF OUR ANNUAL MS-WORD LOTTO LOTTERY CONDUCTED IN LONDON UNITED KINGDOM IT HAPPENS ONCE A YEAR.
YOUR PERSONAL E-MAIL ADDRESS OR COMPANY EMAIL WAS ATTACHED 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 £1,000,000.00 (ONE MILLION BRITISH POUNDS) PAYABLE IN CASH CREDITED TO FILE REF NO: MSW-L/200-26937.
ALL PARTICIPANTS WERE SELECTED FROM WORLDWIDE WEBSITES
THROUGH OUR MICROSOFT COMPUTER BALLOT SYSTEM DRAWN 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 MICROSOFT -WORD USERS ALL OVER THE WORLD, AND TO ENCOURAGE THE USE OF INTERNET AND COMPUTERS WORLDWIDE.
YOUR FUND HAS BEEN INSURED WITH YOUR REF NO: MSW-L/200-26937 AND WILL BE READY FOR TRANSFER TO YOU AS SOON AS YOU START THE CLAIM THROUGH (Dr JOHN GERRI ) THE CLAIMAGENT, 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 THE CLAIMING PROCEDURE FOR THE PAYMENT 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 INFORMATION TO YOUR CLAIMING AGENT. THIS IS TO PREVENT SCAM .
1) SECURITY CODE: MSW/FEB/XX06
2) WINNING INSURANCE POLICY NUMBER: JJA23ZA.
3) FILE REFERENCE NO: MSW-L/200-26937
4) BATCH NO : 2005SEPTL#22
5) OCCUPATION : ----------------------------
6) YOUR FULL GIVEN NAME : -----------------------
7) DATE OF BIRTH : ---------------------------
8) COUNTYR OF RESIDENT: ---------------------
9) NATIONALITY :...................................
10) TELEPHON AND FAX: ----------------------
11) COMPANYS NAME: ...................................
CONTACT OUR CLAIMING AGENT OFFICE HERE IN LONDON
Dr JOHN GERRI (Chief Claim Agent)
Solicitors,Conveyancers & Public Notary
30 Prospect Hill, Galway United Kingdom.
E_MAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
TEL : +44 702 405 4317
TEL : +44 7031 87 0001
TEL : +44 7024 021 444
FAX : +44 8 70 471 7624
REMEMBER, ALL PRIZE MONEY MUST BE CLAIMED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. ALL UNCLAIMED FUND ON OR BEFORE THE FIXED DATE WILL BE RETURNED AS UNCLAIMED AND DONATED TO CHARITY ORGANIZATION.
NOTE: IN ORDER TO AVOID MISTAKES, PLEASE REMEMBER TO QUOTE YOUR REFERENCE AND BATCH NUMBERS AND YOUR SECURITY CODE OF MSW/FEB/XX06 IN ALL CORRESPONDENCES WITH YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER. DO NOT REPLY ANY OTHER MAILS LIKE THIS ON NET, BECAUSE OF SCAM ARTIST OUT THERE PRETENDING TO BE US. YOU MAY SEE MAILS LIKE THIS DO NOT REPLY. DO CONTACT YOUR CLAIMS OFFICER Dr JOHN GERRI 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 COOPERATION TO ALL OUR LUCKY WINNERS THIS YEAR. THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF THIS PROMOTIONAL LOTTERY PROGRAM. OUR SPECIAL THANKS AND GRATITUDE TO BILL GATE OF MICROSOFT AND ALL HIS ASSOCIATES FOR ALLEVIATING POVERTY ROUND THE WORLD.
Congratulations from the Staffs & Members of the Microsoft Lotteries Board Commission ;
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