Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Here is another variation of the "Mr.Van Gogh" from "NL National Lotto/International Promotions"; this time coming from "Laroche Ickenroth". Ah, those crazy Dutch. First he cuts his ear off, now van Gogh is working with "Laroche Ickenroth" (perhaps a distant cousin of Ichabod Crane?) to give you your massive winnings!
This is 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 randomly give away money to encourage you to buy lottery tickets. 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. Some of these in the email below 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?
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, then this must be the world's worst promotion, because no one has heard of it, outside of the email you just received.
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 sweepstakes winning notification. Also see these pages:
Laroche Ickenroth. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
REFERENCE No: ASL- WF97 - 2G3
BATCH No: OX7T - 6T5T - N3N
TICKET NUMBER: 7-1-8-36-4-22
LUCKY BALL NUMBER:7363789,
SERIAL No : 18
We are pleased to notify you of the release today as
dated of the NL National Lotto/International
Promotions programs held on the 20th day of June,
2007. Participants were selected through a computer
ballot system drawn from 98,000 names from Europe,
America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Middle-East,
Africa,North & South America and canada as part of our
international promotions program conducted annually to
encourage prospective overseas entries.
As a category B winner, you have been selected by
computer balloting system where only email addresses
are soughted, from a total numbers of 30,000 email
addresses drawn from all over the globe. After an
automated computer ballot of our International
Promotions Program consequently won in the second
Category. You have therefore been awarded a lump sum
pay out of US$2,000,000.00 in cash, which is the
winning payout for second categories winners. This is
from the total prize money of US$45,000,000.00 shared
among the eight international win! ners in the SECOND
To claim winning contact customer service department:
Mr van gogh
Your are advice to provide him with the following bellow: