Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Did you receive an email from "Steve Ballmer, CEO" at "MICROSOFT-YAHOO! CORPORATIONS UK" telling you that "Your e-mail address attached to ticket number" or something similar, won the MICROSOFT-YAHOO! CORPORATIONS UK lottery and to contact "Mr.Jimmy Walters" to collect your winnings? Were you even aware that Yahoo has a lottery, together with Microsoft? Have you heard of "MICROSOFT-YAHOO! CORPORATIONS UK"? And that they give away huge amounts of money to people simply for having "an active online email account"? This is news to Yahoo and Microsoft; especially since they are direct competitors.
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 "MICROSOFT-YAHOO! CORPORATIONS UK".
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: THE DESK OF THE PROMOTIONS MANAGER INTERNATIONAL GRANTS/PRIZE AWARD DEPT
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the Yahoo! Financial new year promotions held on the 23/03/2008.Your e-mail address attached to ticket number 883734657492-5319 with serial number 7263-267, batch number 8254297137,lottery ref number 7336065782 and drew lucky numbers 14-22-28-37-40-44 which consequently won you the cash prize in the 1st category, you have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of £1,000,000.00 (i.e One Million United Kingdom Pounds).Please note that this Promotional Programmes tagged "Thanks for contributing to our financial Sucess" was sponsored and organized by the Yahoo! Microsoft Corporation in view of the Financial benefits YAHOO! have received from its numerous customers either through adverts, hosting and personal emails. The reason this lottery was organiz ed is to thank the numerous public including users and non-users of YAHOO! MAIL for the financial benefits THE YAHOO! MICROSOFT CORPORATION have received as a result of their Patronage last Year.This Lottery is approved and licensed by the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR). This lottery is the first of its kind organised by YAHOO! MICROSOFT In view of this, your One Million United Kingdom Pounds (£1,000,000.00) would be released to you by the claims office here in UK. To file for your claims, please contact our claims director Mr.Owen Smith who is incharge of the claims office in UK. Contact him for the claims of your One Million United Kingdom Pounds.
You are to contact the claims officer with his office email address and telephone number provided in the below details:
MICROSOFT-YAHOO! CORPORATIONS UK
44 Moorfields London EC2Y 9AL UNITED KINGDOM
For processing and remmitance of your winnings, you are required to contact our designated claims officer with the following underlisted informations:
APPLICATION FOR PRIZE CLAIM
(Receipt Official Notification Letter)
HAVE YOU A PASSPORT OR LICENCE (Proof Of Identity):
Once Again Thanks For Contributing To Our Financial Success!!!
Chief Executive Officer