Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Have you received an email from "Greg Smith" at "Free Lotto Sweepstakes" telling you that "your email address won in the second category" or something similar, and to contact "Mr.Paul Ferguson" to collect your winnings? It is a scam. Apparently, there IS a legal "FreeLotto" that has a paid subscription auto-entry called "F.A.S.T." but this email is a separate scam. And just because 'Freelotto" may be legal does NOT mean we are endorsing it. WE DEFINITELY DO NOT RECOMMEND FREELOTTO.COM.
Below is another example of a fake lottery; this email claims to be from the "Free Lotto Sweepstakes".
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.
The Free Lotto Sweepstakes,
PO Box 42 Peter borough
Winning Notification !!!
Congratulations from the Free Lotto Sweepstakes U K. We are glad to inform you that your email address emerged as one of the winning email addresses in our last sweepstakes lottery programme held on the 12th February, 2007.
Your email address attached to reference number MELI-T/ 17-F044262312 and Grand draw number 12099 was randomly picked from an initial database of 300,000 email addresses and this made you a winner of the sum of 500.000.00(G.B.P).
In other to claim your prize you are required to contact our claims officer :
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
PAYMENT PROCESSING FORM
9.BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF COMPANY/INDIVIDUAL___________
Note that you are automatically disqualified if you are below 18 years of age and illegal dissemination of this mail is highly prohibited.
On line Coordinator
Free Lotto Sweepstakes____________________________________________________________________________________________________________