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 with Yahoo! Mail"? This is news to Yahoo, too. If you received an email from "Dr. Lance Hoppes" at "Yahoo! Mail Lottery" telling you that "your email address won in the second category" or something similar, and to contact "Mr. Edgar Walters or George Bala(Secretary)" 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!
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! Mail 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:
Yahoo does not have or sponsor any lottery. Nor does "Yahoo! Mail gives members random cash prizes.". That is nonsense.
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.
Yahoo! Mail <email@example.com> wrote:
From: "Yahoo! Mail" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Yahoo! Mail Congratulates You
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 05:33:49 +0100
Yahoo! Mail gives members random cash prizes. Today, your account is randomly selected as the one of 5 top winners accounts who will get cash prizes from us.We are happy to inform you that you have won a prize money of Five Hundred Thousand Great Britian Pounds Sterling (500,000)for the month of Febuary, 2008 in the Yahoo Mail! promotion which is organized by yahoo.com every month.
This Lottery was promoted and sponsored by a conglomorate of some multinational companies as part of their social responsibility to the citizens in the commmunities where they have operational base. Further more your details(e-mail address) falls within our British representative office in United Kingdom , as indicated in your play coupon and your prize of 500,000 will be released to you from this regional branch office in UK.
We hope with part of your prize, you will participate in our end of year high stakes for US$15 Million international draw.
HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE
These are your identification numbers:
Batch number.......................Lwh 09445
To begin your claims, kindly contact our claims agent at this email address:
His name is Mr. Edgar Walters
You are required to forward him the following details:
2.COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
5.DATE OF BIRTH
9.FAX NUMBER(IF ANY)
11.WINNING NUMBER,BATCH NUMBER AND LOTTO NUMBER.
12 THE MONTH YOU WON
As soon as you contact him, he will advise you on what to do in order to get your prize money.
Congratulations once more!!
Dr. Lance Hoppes
Yahoo! Lottery is a free service that does not require you to register or be a Yahoo! registered user before winning.
Note: Do not reply this mail: Contact your claims agent for processing of payment as indicated in your winning notification. Thank You