Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Have you received an email from "MRS. THULI MATHISHELA" at "Mandela Electronic Lottery SA" telling you that "your email address won in the second category" or something similar, and to contact "DR.JOHN W. MARAWA" to collect your winnings? Why would a doctor be working as a lottery claims agent? The answer is, because a scammer with a third grade education, thinks that looks impressive.
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 "Mandela Electronic Lottery SA".
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.
MANDELA ELECTRONIC LOTTERY SA.
#73 NELSON MANDELA DRIVE,PRETORIA
EAST,PRETORIA 0002-SOUTH AFRICA.
FROM THE DIRECTOR,PRIZE AWARD
SERIAL NUMBERS:215-18 DRAW.
PRIZE AWARD NOTIFICATION.
Dear Lucky Winner,
We are pleased to inform you from MANDELA ELECTRONIC LOTTERY SA. Of the announcement today 20TH April 2008 as one of the lucky winners of The MANDELA ELECTRONIC LOTTERY SA. Draws held on the 17th of April 2008 as part of our e-business promotional draws end. Participants in the draws were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from 2,500,000 email addresses of individuals and companies from Africa, America, Asia, Australia, Europe, and Middle East, as part of our electronic Business Promotions Program. You qualified for the draw as a result of your visiting various websites we are running the Electronic-business promotions for. You/Your Company email address, attached with REFERENCE
NUMBER: MEL-PD23-711W-9, BATCH NUMBER: 46-184-WAN with serial Number
215-18 drew the lucky numbers: 06, 13, and 26,33,43,46. And consequently won the February 2008 draw. You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of US$1,500,000.00 in cash, which is the winning payout for First category winners. This is from the total prize money of US$10,500,000.00 shared among the seven winners in the First category.
Your winnings should be claimed from our paying Agents. (JOMO FINANCE
LIMITED) As we have notified them. Due to the mix that may arise from emails of winners and numbers we ask that you keep this award strictly from public notice until your claim has been processed and your money remitted to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unscrupulous acts by participants of this program. We hope with a part of your prize, you will participate in our third quarter of year (2008) high stakes US$1.1 billion International Lottery. To begin your claim, please contact our paying agent who also will be your claim agent immediately:
DR.JOHN W. MARAWA.
MANAGER BROKERAGE SERVICE.
(JOMO FINANCE LIMITED).
For due processing and remittance of your prize money, remember you must contact your claim agent not later than 15th of May 2008 after this date, all funds will be returned as unclaimed. NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote your reference and batch numbers provided below in every one of your correspondences with your claims agent. REFERENCE NUMBER:
MEL-PD23-711W-9, BATCH NUMBER: 46-184-WAN.
Also to begin your Claim sends to your claims agent the following information by email.
1) YOUR BATCH AND REFFERENCE NUMBERS
2) AMOUNT WON.
3) YOUR FULL NAME.
4) YOUR ADDRESS.
5) A COPY OF YOUR ID (PASSPORT OR DRIVERS LICENCE).
6) CONTACT DETAILS, (MOBILE PHONE NUMBER AND FAX NUMBER).
7) SERIAL NUMBERS.
Congratulations once again from all our staff and thank you for being part of our promotions program.
MRS. THULI MATHISHELA.
(GAMING BOARD DIRECTOR)
NO73 NELSON MANDELA DRIVE,
PRETORIA EAST, PRETORIA
N.B. Any breach of confidentiality on the part of the winners will result to disqualification.
* 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.