Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Did you know that Yahoo 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 Yahoo, too. If you received an email from "MRS. TAKIYYAH A'ISHAH" at "Yahoo Inc." telling you that "your email address won in the second category" or something similar, and to contact "DR BROWN WILLIAMS" to collect your winnings, it is a scam. Yahoo has never had any lottery (and we're pretty sure they never will). Yahoo certainly doesn't "collect email addresses" or selects winners "using a database of email addresses", or "from websites worldwide", or from "our computer ballot system". Each of those activities would be illegal in many countries, under existing privacy laws. Not to mention, it simply makes no sense for Yahoo to simply give away money. Real lotteries take in much more money than they give away, through ticket sales? Businesses are not lotteries - customers don't buy or use their products or services on the hope that the company will run a lottery for its customers. And it's just plain dumb to believe that!
Notice that all of the images are stolen from other websites. The photo of the woman in headscarf (Mrs. A'ishah, we presume?) is from http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0916/csmimg/p1c.jpg the Christian Science monitor, from their 2004 photo archives. Even the little email icon is stolen from http://www.gacogop.org, The "Church of God" website.
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 "Yahoo Inc.".
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:
Yahoo 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 Yahoo 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.) - often not even a Yahoo free account. Don't you think Yahoo would write from their own corporate address?
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: YAHOO LOTTERY [email@example.com]
Date: March 30, 2008
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS,YOU HAVE WON
CONGRATULATIONS,YOU HAVE WON A PRIZE OF THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS,TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE,KINDLY VIEW THE ATTACH COPY FOLLOWED THE PROCEDURES TO CONTACT YOUR AGENT THROUGH HIS CONTACT INFORMATION FOR MORE DIRECTIVES.
MRS. TAKIYYAH A'ISHAH
ELECTRONIC EMAIL AWARD WINNING NOTIFICATION AWARD PRESENTATION CENTER: UNITED KINGDOM
THIS IS TO INFORM YOU THAT YOU HAVE WON A PRIZE OF THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS (300,000.00) FOR THE YEAR 2008 LOTTERY PROMOTION WHICH ORGANIZED BY YAHOO LOTTERY INC FOR THE INTRODUCTION OF THE NEW YAHOO BETA MAIL WHICH ALL YAHOO USERS ARE REQUIRED TO SWITCH ONTO.
YAHOO! & MICROSOFT WINDOWS, ARRANGE AND GATHER ALL THE E-MAIL ADDRESS OF THE PEOPLE THAT ARE ACTIVE ONLINE, AMONG THE MILLIONS THAT SUBSCRIBED TO YAHOO AND HOTMAIL, AND OTHERS, WE ONLY SELECTED TWENTY (20) CANDIDATES PER ANNUALLY, WE CONGRATULATES YOU FOR BEING ONE OF THE PEOPLE SELECTED
PAYMENT OF PRIZE AND CLAIM
WE ARE SORRY THAT YOUR PAYMENT APPROVAL FILE WAS SENT TO AFRICA SO THAT YOU CAN BE CLEARED AND PAID SIMULTANEOUSLY THERE.YOU ARE TO CONTACT OUR UK AGENT TO GIVE YOU MORE DETAISL FOR THE COLLECTION OF YOUR WINNING FUND.
YAHOO BETA LOTTERY PRIZE MUST BE CLAIMED NOT LATER THAN 14 DAYS FROM DATE OF DRAW IN WHICH PRIZE HAS WON.
. NOTE. YOU ARE TO BEAR THE COST OF RECEIVING YOUR PRIZE FUND IN ANY OPTION YOU CHOSED OF RECEIVING YOUR FUND PRIZE.
THESE ARE YOUR IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS.
REFRENCE NO:.. YBM-EBS-719AF
BATCH NO; YBM-EBS-390AF
TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE MONEY YOU ARE REQUIRED FROM THE UK AGENT DR BROWN WILLIAMS WITH YOUR BATCH NUMBER, REFF NUMBER AND WINNING NUMBERS THROUGH HIS EMAIL BELOW.
AGENT: DR BROWN WILLIAMS
CONTACT PHONE: +447-0318-50423
YOU ARE THEREFORE ADVICE TO SEND THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO HIM TO FACILITATE THEM AND PROCESS THE TRANSFER OF YOUR FUND WITH THE APPOINTED PAYING BANK IN AFRICA.
SEND YOUR IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS TO HIM IMEEDIATELY.
OUR SPECIAL THANKS AND GRATITUDE TO ALL THE ASSOCIATES FOR ALL EVIATING POVERTY AROUND THE WORLD.
MRS. TAKIYYAH A'ISHAH