Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Have you received an email from "Dr. (Mrs.) Edith Barth" at "YAHOO AWARDS & WINDOWS LIVE" telling you that "your email address won in the second category" or something similar, and to contact "Agent Mac Dowlling for your YAHOO/WINDOWS2007/2008/AWARD" to collect your winnings? It is a scam. It says, "YAHOO! collects all the email addresses of the people that are active online" - that is not even technically possible. And the warning at the end of the email to beware of frauds and scammers is a nice touch, isn't it? "YAHOO AWARDS & WINDOWS LIVE" Isn't it nice that these two competitors are giving away money to people... who just have an active email account. That makes a lot of business sense, doesn't it?
Besides which, lotteries don't give money away to people who don't buy tickets - not even as a "promotion". That's just dumb; it would not motivate anyone to BUY a ticket! And No legitimate, legal lottery notifies winners vian email (see footnote) The scammers may change the names and details, but it is still a scam!
By now, if you actually fell for this scam, we truly hope you feel like the moron that you are. It may be the only way you'll learn from it.
Below is another example of a fake lottery; this email claims to be from the "YAHOO AWARDS & WINDOWS LIVE".
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 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.
From: "YAHOO INC..." < email@example.com >
Sent: 30/12/2007 12:39 AM
Yahoo! UK & Ireland Yahoo Awards Center
124 Stockpot Road,
Longsight, Manchester M60 2DB - United Kingdom.
This is to inform you that you have won a prize money of SIX HUNDRED,THOUSAND POUNDS
Great Britain Pounds ( AŁ600,000.00) for the 2007 Promotion which is Organized by
YAHOO AWARDS & WINDOWS LIVE.
YAHOO! collects all the email addresses of the people that are active online, among the millions
that subscribed to Yahoo, Hotmail and few from other e-mail providers. Six people are selected
monthly to benefit from this promotion and you are one of the Selected Winners.
PAYMENT OF PRIZE AND CLAIM Winners shall be paid in accordance with his/her Settlement Center.
Yahoo Prize Award must be claimed not later than 15 days from date of Draw Notification.
Any prize not claimed within this period will be forfeited. Stated below are your identification
numbers: BATCH NUMBER: YPA/07/08APA-43658 REFERENCE NUMBER:200708234522 PIN: 1206
These numbers fall within the England Location file and you are requested to contact our
fiduciary agent in Manchester and send your winning identification numbers to him.
Agent Name: Agent Mac Dowlling
As soon as you contact your agent,he shall commence the process that will facilitate the
release of your fund,
once again we say Congratulations!!! Yours in service,
Dr. (Mrs.) Edith Barth ========================================================================
WARNING! Do not share this information until your money is successfully handed over to you to
avoid disqualification that may arise from double claim. You may also receive similar e-mails from
people portraying to be other Organizations or Yahoo Inc. This is solely to collect your personal
information from you and lay claim over your winning. In event ! that you receive any e-mail
similar to the notification letter that was sent to you, Kindly delete it from your mail box and
give no further correspondence to such person or body.