Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
"MRS CLAIRE WESTWOOD, DIRECTOR OF PROMOTIONS of BMW PUBLICITY DEPARTMENT" ought to be sacked. Apparently, she is running a promotion, in which a new BMW is given away to someone, from a "random selection in our computerised email selection system from a database of over 250,000 email addresses drawn from all the continents of the world"... and you, we and no one we know has ever heard of this promotion. You'd think that if a luxury car manufacturer started a promotion give away cars, we'd hear of it? After all, isn't that the point of a promotion, publicity.
Well, it is a moot point, as there is no Mrs. Claire Westwood, and it is obvious that it is a scam, and truly one that will only trap total morons.
This is a very simple scam. They claim you won a promotion, which is giving away millions of dollars based on a randomly selected email address. The scam is obvious: it's simply preposterous to think that any company would randomly give away money to encourage you to buy lottery tickets. That would be self-defeating.
Although the most important clue is that no legitimate lottery, and almost no legitimate sweepstakes or promotions will 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 "computerised email selection system". No one, not even Microsoft has a database of email addresses of the type or magnitude they suggest.
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.
Using free email account: The scammer is writing to you from a FREE email account (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.). Don't you think that BMW has its own website and domain for email (example Helmut.D.Hun@BMW.com) and would use its own email, its own domain and website? Wouldn't they want to promote that?
What are they promoting? Pause fopr just a moment to consider, how would randomly giving away a new BMW to someone, simply because they have an email address, help to sell BMW's or create publicity? It wouldn't. In fact, it might be one of the dumbest ideas going, since to be eligible you don't even have to have a driver's license or even visit a BMW showroom!
Pay a fee to collect the prize: Nope, it is illegal for free sweepstakes and promotions to charge you ANYTHING! Of course, in a scam, that is the whole point: to get you to send money to the scammer.
Did you notice that "LINCS" (Lincolnshire) is now a borough of London? That might be of interest to more than a few people in the East Midlands...
It is a typical scam sweepstakes winning notification. Also see these pages:
The Promotion Department BMW Automobiles
22 Garden Close, Stamford,
Lincs, PE9 2YP, London
Dear Selected winner,
This is to inform you that you have been selected for a cash Price of £250,000.00 (two hundred and fifty thousand Great British Pounds) and a brand new BMW 120i Series Car from International programs held on the 16Th Of March 2007 in the United Kindom.
Description of Price vehicle;
Colour (exterior/interior): Black Sapphire Metallic/Black Leather
Transmission: Automatic 6 Speed
Options: Cold weather package, premium package, fold down rear seats w/ski bag, an FM stereo with single in dash compact disc player.
The selection process was carried out through random selection in our computerised email selection system from a database of over 250,000 email addresses drawn from all the continents of the world which your email was among the first ten (10) lucky winners.
To begin the processing of your Price (winnings) you are to contact our claims/Verification department for more information as regards procedures to claim your Price. Contact the verification department by providing your secret pin code x7pwyz2007 and your Reference Number BMW:2551256003/23.You are also advised to provide him with the under listed informations.
1.Name in full.
2.Address in full.
3.Nationality & Present Country.
5.Phone /Fax /Sex.
CONTACT PERSON: Engineer Roonyn James (Claims diretor)
all members and staff of the 2007 BMW PROMOTION.
MRS CLAIRE WESTWOOD
DIRECTOR OF PROMOTIONS
BMW PUBLICITY DEPARTMENT.