Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Have you received an email from"Markham, Donnelly & Associates" telling you that "your email address won in the second category" or something similar, and to contact them to collect your winnings? It is a scam. No legitimate, legal lottery notifies winners vian email (see footnote)! The scammers may change the names and details, but it is still a scam!
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 "Markham, Donnelly & Associates", related by the victim.
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. Typical warning signs are:
Email address ballot: There is no such thing as a "computer ballot system" or "computer email draw". No one, not even Microsoft 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. Names are usually in all capital letters for some reason known only to these illiterate criminals. 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.). Don't you think a real organization would use it's own email, it's own domain and website?
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.
My 83 year old father has had dementia for several years, and it worsened to the degree that my mother could no longer care for him and he went into a nursing home. Sadly, we discovered that he has spent about $60,000.00 over a period of years. He was sending money to many different "companies" from all over the world.
I have Power of Attorney for my father and have taken over the handling of his financial affairs, so it is only now coming to light what he has been up to. His mail has been redirected to me and the deluge of mail is shocking.
One of these letters is from Markham, Donnelly & Associates, PO Box 49, Ronkomkona, NY. It promises Dad that he will receive $10,000.00.
"To receive your cash award and property entitlement, please enclose with this Winnings Acceptance Form the small contribution of CAN$27.99 to cover the processing costs of your file and the shipping costs of your cash award and property entitlement directly to your home address. Please make cheque payable to Markham, Donnelly & Associates.
To benefit from our Ultra-Fast Processing, please add CAN$5.99 extra for a total of CAN$33.98."
The letter goes on to ask for a credit card number and the CVV number. Isn't there anything that can be done about outfits like this? My father continues to insist that he is going to be a millionaire.
Thanks for any help
* Re: emails of winnings. We know of only ONE exception in the world to this rule - and if you bought a ticket from them, you would know it, and would used their safegaurds.