Sample Promotion Prize Scam Email:
BRITISH TOBACCO ONLINE PROMO
"KAREN PETERSON", "Mr. ALBERT GREGORY"
Have you received an email from "KAREN PETERSON" at "BRITISH TOBACCO ONLINE PROMO" saying you won
their promotion or lottery promo and to contact "Mr. ALBERT GREGORY" to collect your winnings? It is a scam. And don't get too excited if the names are different; the scammers
make many versions of this scam!
It is actually 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 give money away randomly to encourage you to buy their product. 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.
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
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 a real organization
would use its own email, its own domain and website? Wouldn't they want to
Keep Confidential - Real promotions THRIVE on
publicity: that's the purpose of them! They don't want you to keep anything secret - the publicity
causes people to buy their product. 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!"
What are they promoting? No one promotes "world
peace" or "use of the internet" by handing out millions to random strangers.
And if they are promoting a product or
a lottery, then
this must be the world's worst promotion, because no one has heard of it,
outside of the email you just received. Just giving away money to
random people who have an email address wouldn't promote a darn thing! It is
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.
It is a typical scam promotion sweepstakes winning notification. Also
see these pages:
Sample scam email
From: "BRITISH TOBACCO ONLINE PROMO" <
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2007 6:03 PM
This is to inform you that you have been selected for a cash prize of $1,500,000 in the International programs held on the 26th of March 2007 in London Uk.The selection process was carried out through random selection
in our computerized email selection system(s) from a database of over 250,000 mail addresses drawn from all the continents of the world.To begin the processing of your prize you are to contact our executive claims officer via email;
Mr. ALBERT GREGORY.
Fudiciary Agent/Payment Officer.
1. Name in full,
Names of Scam / Fake / Fraud Lottery
Click here for the huge list of the names of the currently identified lottery