Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Have you received an email from "MRS HELEN PALMER" at "HERITAGE LOTTERY FUNDS PROMOTIONS" telling you that "your email address won in the second category" or something similar, and to contact "Mr. Edward Pinto" to collect your winnings? Well, "Mrs. Palmer" is still up to her tricks. This one has been circulating for well over a year (see this version from February 2007) and the current version further down this page. 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 "HERITAGE LOTTERY FUNDS PROMOTIONS".
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:
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.
HERITAGE LOTTERY FUNDS PROMOTIONS
7 Holbein Place, London, SW1W 8NR
FROM: THE DESK OF THE DIRECTOR PROMOTIONS, INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT,
We are pleased to announce you as one of the 6 lucky winners in theHERITAGE LOTTERY FUNDS draw held on the 3rd of December,2007. All 6 winning addresses were randomly selected from a batch of 40,000 international emails.Your email address emerged alongside 5 others as a 3rd category winner in this month's draw.
Consequently,you have therefore been approved for a total pay out of £1,500,000 Pounds( one million five hundred thousand pounds)only.
Please contact the underlisted claims officer as soon as possible forthe immediate release of your winnings:
Mr. Edward Pinto,
7 Holbein Place, London, SW1W 8NR
Congratulations once again from all members and staff of this program. Thank you for being part of our promotional lottery programs.
MRS HELEN PALMER THE DIRECTOR PROMOTIONS,
HERITAGE LOTTERY FUND
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 07:04:03 +0000
Subject: VERIFICATION PROCESS/REQUIRED DETAILS FROM EDWARD PINTO CLAIM OFFICER
This e-mail confirms safe receipt of your e-mail and the contents therein. I write this communiquι to duly inform you that you have been assigned a payment of £1,500,000 Pounds( one million five hundred thousand pounds)only. as one of the winners of our lottery promotions organized in the United Kingdom under our worldwide promotional program.
The aim of this lottery is to promote world peace and the globalization of the Internet. Participant (e-mail addresses) of this lottery promotion were drawn randomly from the Internet, upon which a raffle draw was conducted and six winners emerged fortuitously. These six lucky winners have been assigned a lump sum payment of one million five hundred thousand pounds each.
To facilitate the swift transfer of these funds to you I have been assigned as your claims officer, I will duly intimate you of all required modalities that must be formalized towards your funds release.
Subject to your funds release you are required to fill out the below mentioned FUNDS RELEASE VERIFICATION FORM T11. This will enhance the verification and subsequent approval of your payment. Be informed that you have seven days from the day of acceptance of the FUNDS RELEASE VERIFICATION FORM T11 to procure your winnings, as failure to comply with the above mentioned directive will result in your winning prize been returned as unclaimed to the organizers of this sweepstake lottery.
This sweepstake lottery was organized in the UNITED KINGDOM under all stated rules and regulations guiding the transfer of large sums of money as instructed by the FINANCE SERVICE AUTHORITY which is the finance infrastructure set in place by the government of the UNITED KINGDOM to monitor the cash flow in and out of the country in view of the bomb explosion that occurred in London. Hence, it has become absolutely imperative that all winners notarize their winnings in a court of competent jurisdiction here in London upon which certification will be issued from the fiscal authority of the UNITED KINGDOM and approval garnered for funds release.
Please note that the Verification process usually takes between 24-48 hrs, depending on how swiftly you have the filled out form returned to us. Upon completion of this Verification Process/Screening, we would contact you with further details on when you shall be receiving your funds in your nominated bank account
Please have your FUNDS RELEASE VERIFICATION FORM T11 sent in immediately and await further contact from us. Note also that there is a maximum allowable time by law, for which we can hold these funds here as unclaimed. Be informed that failure to receive your FUNDS RELEASE VERIFICATION FORM T11 within 24-48hrs of receipt of this e-mail will result in your payment being delayed or your funds returned to source. Also make sure that you have a valid form of identification sent with the FUNDS RELEASE VERIFICATION FORM T11. You should accompany the FUNDS RELEASE VERIFICATION FORM T11 with either the information page of your International Passport, Drivers License or your National ID. Your winning will be conveyed by the method opted in the funds release verification form upon verification and approval by the fiscal authority of the UNITED KINGDOM.
FUNDS RELEASE VERIFICATION FORM T11
LAST NAME .
TELEPHONE NO .
NEXT OF KIN
Note that your winning will be conveyed to you via bank transfer Congratulations once more and good luck.
Mr Edward Pinto
CONFIDENTIAL NOTICE: This email message, including any attachments, is intended only for the use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and prohibited from unauthorized disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this message is strictly prohibited. If you received this message in error, please notify the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.
Copyright © 2004-2008 Heritage Lottery sweepstakes Inc.
All rights reserved. Terms of Service - Guidelines.
* 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.
* 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 not be questioning it.