Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Have you received an email from "Mr.Martins Douglas" at "MasterCard / Visa Award Promotion" saying you won their promotion or lottery promo and to contact "British Airways Courier" to collect your winnings? It is a scam.
Visa and Mastercard are different companies.
They are competitors.
Their business is credit cards.
Neither Visa nor MasterCard operate a promotion award.
British Airways is a passenger carrier, not a courier service.
"Martins Douglas" isn't a real name. "Douglas Martins" might be, but scammers are too stupid to understand the proper order of first names and last / surnames.
If he works for Visa / MasterCard, why is his email address "@live.com.
Similarly, why is the email address for the mythical "British Airways Courier" a free hotmail email account?
Had enough? Or are you still so desperate to become a victim, that you will believe anything? 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 pointless and 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 "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.
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 promote that?
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 a scam!
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:
The victim also said: "Also I called the phone # posted for the courier and a man answered trying to get met to pay the insurance fee for the package."
Contact Courier Service For Your Winning Parcel (Registration No.: U971132B ***Call To Confirm***)‏‏
From: Martins Douglass ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) Sent:Sat 3/29/08 7:38 AM
MasterCard / Visa Award Promotion
19 Queen Victori,London,LS16BE
CLAIMS OFFICE, UNITED KINGDOM
DIRECTOR: MR. HERON DAVIES
ATTN:***PRIZE WINNER***"Michael Alan Martin,
This is to inform you that you have been cleared/approved payment as one of winners of the MasterCard / Visa Award Promotion. I, Mr. Martins Douglas the Promotion Manager of the MasterCard / Visa Award Promotion is happy to inform you that the original copy of winning certificate/certified bank check of £500,000.00GBP (Five Hundred Thousand Great Britain Pounds) has been registered and fowarded to the British Airways Courier for delivery.Find below the details of the courier company.
Note:Send your information to courier service below.
British Airways Courier
13A Chesilton Road, London SW6 5AA
Tel:+44 704 572 5717
Fax: +44 709 286 9036
Kindly fill this form below and contact the Courier Company above vian email/Phone for the 24hours delivery of your winnings.
PARCEL REGISTRATION NO: U971132B
1.The courier delivery charges fee will be paid by international winner and cannot be deducted from their Winnings.
2.Quote your complete names,winning amount and your direct phone number so that they can honour your request.
Congratulations once more from members and staffs of the MasterCard / Visa Award Promotion.
MasterCard / Visa Award Promotion Department
THIS E-MAIL IS CONFIDENTIAL. If you have received this e-mail in error, please notify us by return e-mail and delete the document. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.MasterCard / Visa Award Promotion is not liable for the proper and complete transmission of the information contained in this communication or for any delay in its receipt.