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. Stella Davidson" at "Yahoo International Internet Lottery and Swiss lottery" telling you that "your email address won in the second category" or something similar, and to contact "Paul Oshimiriatata" 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 International Internet Lottery and Swiss 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.
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.
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2008 23:47:25 +1100 (EST)
From: "Stella Davidson" <email@example.com>
Messenger Yahoo! Lottery Results You won US$480,000.00! Yahoo! Mail congratulates you!
From: Yahoo International Internet Lottery and Swiss lottery www.swisslotto.ch Promotion Award Headquarters U.K:67a, Bexon Court Carlton Liverpool shire, Liverpool mc4 1St Essex United Kingdom Customer Service:
580 NCA 85914 Refs: YUKIIILPA/941OYI/08 Dear Winner, US$480,000.00 Yahoo! Mail announces you as one of the 10 lucky winners in the ongoing Yahoo Lottery Draw for the 08/03/ 2008.
All 10 winning email addresses were randomly selected from a batch of 50,000,000 international emails each from Canada, Australia, United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Oceania as part of our international promotions program which is conducted annually, consequently, you have been approved for a total pay out of US$480,000.00 (FOUR HUNDRED AND EIGHTY THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY).
This Lottery was promoted and sponsored by a conglomerate of some multinational companies as part of their social responsibility to the citizens in the communities and the whole world where they have operational base. Further more your details(e-mail address) falls within Africa representative office, as indicated in your play coupon and your prize of US$480, 000.00 will be released to you from this regional branch office in South Africa.
How to get your fund claimed
These are your identification numbers
Customer Service: 680 NCA 85914
Batch No Lotto 6/49
Draw Coupon: Match 6+B
Ref No: 474061725/04,
Winning No: 8 12 15 21 34 40 22
Insurance No: 8179TDWW
To file for your claim, please contact our certified and accredited corresponding agent in South Africa immediately for category "A" winners for quick and urgent release of your fund, contact information is as follow: -:
Contact Our Overseas Claim Agent/Representative
Name: Mr. Paul Oshimiriatata
Tel: +27 83 964 3540
Fax: +27 866 100 865
Endeavor to email him with your claim details 1, Full Names:
2, Date of birth:
3, Present Contact Address:
4. Country of Residence:
7. Ref: No
8. Batch: No
9. Pin No
13. Total amount won
Remember: all prize money must be claimed within 15 days of this notification. All funds not claimed on or before the fixed date will be returned as unclaimed and donated to charity organizations.
Please be warned: For security reasons, we advice all winners to keep this information confidential from the public until your claim is processed and your prize released to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted taking advantage of this program by non-selected winner or unofficial personnel.
Mrs. Stella Davidson
The Yahoo.com staff
P.O BOX 1010 170, INL-LIVERPOOL -UNITED KINGDOM Yahoo Lottery is a free service that does not require you to buy a lottery ticket before you become a winner.