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Watch For Scams Newsletter, Issue #0017 - Microsoft, Google, Yahoo Lottery Scam
October 27, 2009

Microsoft, Google, Yahoo Lottery Scam

Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

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Microsoft, Google, Yahoo Lottery Scam

We have been advised of an email circulating that claims you have won a lottery organized by Microsoft, Google and Yahoo. The email claims that you have won 500,000 pounds in the draw that was sponsored by the three computer giants.

The message states that your email address was randomly selected using a computer draw system that harvested email addresses from the Internet.

To claim your prize, you are requested to contact the 'Fiduciary Claim Agent' named in the email as Mr. Michael Walker. To receive your prize, you are required to provide personal details for 'verification purposes'.

If you provide these details [name, address, date of birth etc], you will be contacted back and asked to provide 257 pounds to cover fees for insurance, bank fees, taxes and administration. The message states that the fees cannot be deducted out of the winnings, as they are required to pay out the full value of the prize.

This email is a scam.

The goal of the email is firstly to capture your personal details so the Internet criminals can commit identity fraud. The second goal is to steal your money in the form of fees for a non-existent lottery.

You should be suspicious of any notification that you have won a lottery that you didn't enter. This applies also to a lottery that claims to be random draws of email addresses from the world wide web. Legitimate lottery organisers are aware of the issues around collecting information without the knowledge or permission of the owner.

A legitimate lottery won't require you to pay any sort of 'fees' to claim your prize.

The scammers use fake names and disposable email addresses, and usually target countries they don't live in. Once they have made their money, they pack up their tent and disappear into the Internet ether. This makes it almost impossible for police to catch them or return your money.

Although it sounds obvious to most people that it is a scam, it continues to catch people every day! It is the hope of 'something for nothing'.

It may sound tempting, however don't reply, or provide any personal information, or send any money!

If you are a victim of an online scheme, please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at

Remember - always watch for scams!


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