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You've Won The Lottery - except you haven't - it's a SCAM!
If you receive an e-mail telling you that you've won the National Lottery, beware! It's a scam! The National Lottery does not give away prizes by entering random e-mail addresses into a draw. You have to buy a lottery ticket to enter. Where do you think the prize money comes from? It comes from people buying lottery tickets. That's how it works. There would be no point if you could win by some fool harvesting your e-mail address and money being given away without you even entering the lottery in the first place! That's because a lottery has to make a profit.
Here is an example of an e-mail saying YOU'VE WON THE LOTTERY! ...
|----- Original Message -----
From: dianne thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To: (this field was hidden but by examination of the sourcecode it's an address located on the email page)
Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2007 3:06 PM
Subject: contact claims agent
The United Kingdom National Lottery wishes to inform you that the results of the E-mail address ballot lottery international program by Great Britain held on 10th of March, 2007. Your email account have been picked as a winner of a lump sum pay out of Eight hundred and ninty-one thousand, nine hundred and thirty-four Great Britain pounds (£891,934.00 pounds sterlings) in cash credited to file REF NO. REF: UKL/74-A0802742006. This is from total prize money of GBP £4,459,670.00 shared among the FIVE (5) international winners in this category.
All participants for the online version were selected randomly from World Wide Web through computer balloting system drawn from over 100,000 names database, union associations and corporate bodies that are listed online. This promotion is this year's United Kingdom National Lottery New Year bonanza. The Camelot Group, operators of the United Kingdom National Lottery is approved by the British Gaming Board and also Licensed by the The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR).
All winning must be claimed not later than 14 working days from this notification. After this time all unclaimed funds will be retured to European Union Treasury as unclaimed. Please note in order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications please remember to quote your reference number in all correspondence.
Be advice to keep your winning information confidential until your claims has been processed and your money remitted to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program.
To begin your claim, please contact your claims agent:
He will brief you on steps to be taken for due processing and remittance of your prize money..
below your winning details:
N.B. Any breach of confidentiality on the part of the Winners will result to disqualification.
NOTE: Do not reply this mail. You are to contact your claims officer immediately. In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote your reference number in every one of your correspondences.
*IMPORTANT* FILL OUT THIS WINNERS VERIFICATION FORM BELOW:
Your application for the claim of lottery winning prize will be duly processed and settlement made upon certification.
Hence, carefully fill in the appropriate information in the space provided below for record purposes to facilitate our immediate commencement of your claims process. The completed form should be sent to your claims agent for immediate commencement of prize remittance.
The average US Credit Score is 675. The cost to see yours: $0 by Experian.
Don't be fooled by the waffling on about legal stuff or any legit addresses in the message. The whole thing is a fiasco. There is no "e-mail address ballot lottery" and if you fall for this you could end up losing money. It's a bit like the Nigeria Scam where you have to pay up front in the hopes of getting the money, and then the scamsters take your money and probably your personal ID too!
Besides the obvious falsehood of the purported scenario, there are also serious grammatical issues in the message which show the message did not originate from Camelot, or from The UK National Lottery, or even from anyone with English as their first language!
The banner, quite laughable really in being a parody of cliche, had been remotely grabbed from a website whose address was http://www.osalotteries.com/uk/ . Note that this does not implicate them in the scam. However, they appeared to be offering non-UK residents a way of entering the UK National Lottery, which according to my interpretation of the UK National Lottery rules, isn't allowed. You have to have a ticket, and you have to be a UK resident.
To sum it up:
1. You haven't won the Lottery. The only way you've won the Lottery is if you've got your paper ticket in your hand and you have the television show coming up with the same 6 numbers as on your ticket. In the unlikely event that should happen, you should contact the actual Lottery dial-in number which is on the ticket!
2. To win any lottery you have to enter. That means you have to have initiated the process. If you haven't signed up for it, then you haven't won. (the exception to this is where someone kindly buys you a ticket, but this is easy to spot as it's a real ticket which you are given, and if it wins then the numbers are on the tv screen to marvel at!)
3. Don't be fooled by scams! Be cautious! There is a key feature by which reality can be distinguished from fraud. With reality you can check it from different angles and get the same result, whereas with fraud you are expected to believe one incoming information stream without reference to anything independent.
Also see Banners saying Congratulations You've won a Prize!
Also see phone call says you've won a prize on your credit card etc.
If you want to have a chance of winning the real UK National Lottery, you can enter online via the real site, or go to the Post Office and buy a ticket!