Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Have you received an email from "Mr. John Moore" at "Best Lottery International, online Sweepstakes International program" telling you that "your email address won in the second category" or something similar, and to contact "Mr. Andrew Gordon Furness" to collect your winnings? It is a scam. No legitimate, legal lottery notifies winners vian email*! The scammers may change the names and details, but it is still a scam!
Below is another example of a fake lottery; this email claims to be from the "Best Lottery International, online Sweepstakes International program".
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.
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. 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 its own email, its own domain and website?
Keep Confidential - Real sweepstakes and lotteries THRIVE on publicity - they don't want you to keep anything secret - the publicity causes people to enter or buy more of their products. 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!"
Require the winner to pay - U.S. federal law prohibits sweepstakes from charging you for anything, not "delivery", couriers, taxes, fees, handling charges, or anything else!
Here is a typical scam sweepstakes winning notification.
Best of the Best Headquarters <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2008 07:43:15 -0700 (MST)
Subject: Sweepstakes International Program.
From: "Best of the Best Headquarters" <email@example.com>
Best of the Best Headquarters
2 Plato Place,72-74 St Dionis Road,
Batch Number: Sc -271
Ticket Number :4074813-2482555
Voucher Code : R2G2DK
CONGRATULATION YOU HAVE WON 1,450,000.00GBP We happily announce to you the draw (#1127) of the Best of the Best Lottery International, online Sweepstakes International program held on February 22nd 2008.
Your e-mail address attached to ticket number:4074813-2482555 with Serial number 5368/02 drew the lucky numbers: (14) (16)(24)(26)(27)(39)(bonus no.(06), which subsequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category I. match 5 plus bonus.
You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of 1,450,000.00GBP (One Million Four hundred & Fifty Thousand Pounds sterling) in cash credited to file KTU/90231108/03.
This is from a total cash prize of 17,400,000.00 GBP shared amongst the first Twelve (12) lucky winners in this category i.e Match 5 plus bonus.
All participants for the online version were selected randomly from World Wide Web sites through computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000 unions, associations, and corporate bodies that are listed online. This promotion takes place weekly until the end of the year.(31/12/2008)
Please note that your lucky winning number falls within our European booklet representative office in Europe as indicated in your play coupon. (5647560054) In view of this, your 1,450,000.00 GBP would be released to you by any of our payment Bank in United Kingdom.
Our European agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your funds as soon as you contact him.
For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claim is processed and your money remitted to you in whatever manner you deem fit to claim your prize.
please you are advised to contact the agent with your winning numbers, this is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program. Please be warned.
To claim your prize, please write to Best of the Best Lottery Payment Agent.
Over Seas Claim Unit Mr. Andrew Gordon Furness Phone No: +447934360279 (During working Hour) EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONGRATULATIONS FROM THE MEMBERS AND STAFF OF BEST OF THE BEST LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL
Mr. John Moore
Online coordinator for BEST OF THE BEST LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL Sweepstakes International Program.