Did you receive an email from "Mrs.Shina Patery" at " MSN/YAHOO LOTTERY INC LIVE in conjunction with the MICROSOFT WINDOWS" telling you that "Your e-mail address attached to ticket number" or something similar, won the MSN/YAHOO LOTTERY INC LIVE in conjunction with the MICROSOFT WINDOWS lottery and to contact "Mr.Cox Rooney" to collect your winnings? Were you even aware that Yahoo and Microsoft / MSN were one company and they operated a lottery? Did you know that they give away money at random, to people who have email addresses, just to reward them for using their products or to "promote the internet".
If this makes sense to you, then you are living proof of the centuries-old expression "a fool and his money are soon parted". It is merely a pathetic scam.
Neither Yahoo nor Microsoft have never had any lottery (and we're pretty sure they never will). They certainly would not do ANYTHING together. Neither Microsoft nor Yahoo "collects 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 " MSN/YAHOO LOTTERY INC LIVE in conjunction with the MICROSOFT WINDOWS".
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:
"Incorporation" isn't even a word for pity's sake!
They're writing to you from a Hong Kong address!
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: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 14:06:33 +0530 (IST)
From: "email@example.com" < firstname.lastname@example.org >
Subject: CONGRATULATION YOU HAVE WON THE SUM OF £750,000.00(WINNING NUMBE
The Msn/Yahoo Lottery Incorporation
PO Box 1010,Liverpool
L70 1NL,United Kingdom.
Ref: XYL /26510460037/05
Dear Lucky Winner
This is to inform you that you have won a prize money of £750,000.00 (Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand,Great Britain Pounds Sterling)for the Annual 2008 Lottery promotion which is organized by MSN/YAHOO LOTTERY INC LIVE in conjunction with the MICROSOFT WINDOWS.
MSN/YAHOO WINDOWS, collects all the email addresses of the people that are active online, among the millions that subscribed to Yahoo,Hotmail and various Microsoft window users, we only select five people as our winners, through electronic balloting System without the winner applying.
Msn/Yahoo Lottery Prize must be claimed not later than 13 days from the date of this Notification after the Draw date in which Prize has won.
Any prize not claimed within this period will be forfeited.
These are your identification numbers:
Ref: XYL /26510460037/05
Our Event Manager will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your funds as soon as you contact him. For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claims is processed and your money remitted to you. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program, Please be warned.
Attached here is the claim verification and funds release form. You are expected to fill and submit to the event manager.
VERIFICATION AND FUNDS RELEASE FORM
8.TELEPHONE NUMBER:_____________________ 9.AMOUNT WON:___________________________________
12. NEXT OF KIN:_____________________________ 13. ZIP CODE:_______________ 14:NATIONALITY:___________________________
15:Your Reference and Batch number at the top of this mail:
To file for your claim, please fill and submit your verification form to our events manager immediately vian email.
(CONTACT EVENTS MANAGER)
Once again congratulations...
(Msn/Yahoo Lottery Games/Lottery Coordinator).
The sender metalinfo of this email has accessed your resume on
timesjobs.com. Please note that there is no charge for registering on
Timesjobs.com. Products for which charges are payable are clearly indicated on
the site. It is the sole responsibility of the candidate to verify the
content of the mails sent by the employers/recruiters. Further, you are
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unsolicited mail that you may receive from any individual/firm/company,
asking for advance payment for any service that they may claim to be
offering. Timesjobs.com does not vouch/guarantee for any such offers made
by the above said parties.
The sender of this email is registered with timesjobs.com as lynx
corporation(email@example.com ,141 hambrough road)
using timesjobs.com services. The responsibility of checking the
authenticity of offers/correspondence lies with you.
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