Consumer Fraud Reporting
Microsoft Award
Reporting on the Latest Frauds, Scams, Fake Lotteries, Spams and Hoaxes

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AV product:

Microsoft Sweepstakes Scam Email:
Microsoft Award
"Mrs. Mary Beth Smith", "Maryann Randle"

Have you received an email from "Mrs. Mary Beth Smith" at "Microsoft Award" telling you that "your email address won in the second category" or something similar, and to contact "Maryann Randle" to collect your winnings? It is a scam.

Did you know that Microsoft has a sweepstakes in which they randomly give away money to people whose email addresses Microsoft magically "collected"?  This is news to Microsoft, too. It is a scam.

Microsoft has never had any sweepstakes (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".

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 completely gullible!

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".  

Although the most important clue is that there is NO Microsoft sweepstakes, lottery or any other giveaway, 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:

  • 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.

  • 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 Microsoft would write to your from and have you reply to an address ""?

  • Keep Confidential - Real sweepstakes and lotteries THRIVE on publicity - they don't want you to keep anything secret - the publicity causes people to enter or buy more of their products. 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!"

  • Require the winner to pay - U.S. federal law prohibits sweepstakes from charging you for anything, not "delivery", couriers, taxes, fees, handling charges, or anything else!

Here is a typical scam sweepstakes winning notification. 

Actual scam email (One example - the scammers constantly change names, dates and addresses!):

Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2008 15:14:39 -0700

From: "Microsoft Award" <



    Reference Number: LSUK/2041/8151/08

Ticket number: 56474200645166

Cash on file: US$1,000,000:00

 Dear Lucky Winner,                                     

                                                                WINNING NOTIFICATION


Your email has won a total Cash Prize Of ONE MILLION UNITED STATE DOLLARS and a consolation prize of Dell Pentium 4 laptop, T-shirt and a face cap. 


MICROSOFT WINDOWS, collects all the email addresses of the people that are active online, frequent internet users all over the world from America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia, as part of International Email Promotions Program, which is conducted annually to encourage the use of internet and computers worldwide among the millions that subscribed we only select five people every Month as our winners through electronic balloting System without the winner applying, we congratulate you for being one of the people selected this month. Your winning fall within our African booklet as indicated in your play coupon.

To file for your claim, please contact Our Authorized Distinct Claims  Agent in South Africa immediately you read this massage for quick and urgent release of your fund. Our Authorized Distinct Claims Agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your fund.


Distinct Claims Agent

Contact Person: Maryann Randle,


Tel: +277 87177 006

Fax: +278 6419 4758

With the following vital information:

Full Name:............................

Full Address:.........................





Marital status:.......................

Reference numbers:....................

Ticket number:........................

Amount won:...........................

Email address:........................

Phone number {land/mobile}:............


Mrs. Mary Beth Smith             


NB: All response must be sent to your assigned Distinct Claims Agent contact email given above and any claim not made before (14) working days from date of notification indicate that the winner has voluntarily forfeited his/her winnings.        

Names of Scam / Fake / Fraud Lottery 

Click here for the huge list of the names of the currently identified sweepstakes and lottery scams companies


Copyright CFR 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009  - Definition of scam, fraud, etc.Legal disclaimer / corrections / complaints  -  Privacy Policy
Names used by scammers in the examples on this page and others often belong to real people and businesses who often have no knowledge of nor connection to the scammer's use of their name and information.  Sample scam emails and other documents are copies of the scam to help potential victims recognize and avoid it.  You should presume that any names used and presented here in a scam are either fictitious or used without their legitimate owner's permission.
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