Winning prize a scam in disguise

Many people dream of winning a large sum of money from any source that offers it. Lotteries, sweepstakes, and raffles are just a few of the many potential sources of cash that could dramatically change a person’s life. Scammers are counting on this desire to lure unsuspecting people into a situation that has the opposite effect on a bank account.

In an actual email scam below, this thief includes a specific collection of information to fool a target into believing he or she has won a large sum of cash. First, the individual uses the name of a widely-known company to give the message an air of credibility. Google is a well-respected company, and the scammer used the name frequently in the message to reinforce the idea that it’s from the highly regarded organization. Second, the scammer uses Google’s actual headquarters address in the message. A person who searches for the address online will find that the address listed in the email matches the one on Google’s contact webpage.

“—–Original Message—–
From: Mrs. Diana Consoli <noreply@gmail.com>
Sent: Tue, Jan 5, 2016 1:44 pm
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS!! YOU ARE A WINNER OF GOOGLE LOTTERY AWARD

From: Google Inc.
Corporate Headquarters,
1600 Amphitheater Parkway,
Mountain View,
California, 94043,
United States.

Ticket No: GUK/1008272745GK
Winning Number: GUK/992197732B2GK
Notification Date: 05/01/2016

GOOGLE ANNIVERSARY WINNING NOTIFICATION

Attention Winner,

We wish to congratulate you once again on this note, for being part of our winners selected this Month. This promotion was set-up to encourage the active users of the Google search engine and the Google ancillary services.

Hence we do believe with your winning prize, you will continue to be active and patronage to the Google search engine. Google is now the biggest search engine worldwide and in an effort to make sure that it remains the most widely used search engine, we ran an online e-mail beta test which your email address won $950,000.00 {Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars}.

We wish to formally announce to you that you have successfully passed the requirements, statutory obligations, verifications, validations and satisfactory report Test conducted for all online winners.

A winning cheque has been issued from the Google reserved account and sent to our paying bank for onward transfer and crediting of your bank account. You are therefore advised to contact our payment processing coordinator with the below information to enable him process your claim and forward your payment file to our paying bank for immediate transfer of your winning sum.

VERIFICATION AND FUNDS RELEASE FORM.
(1) Your Contact Address/Private Email Address.
(2) Your Tel/Fax Numbers.
(3) Your Nationality/Country.
(4) Your Full Name.
(5) Occupation/Company.
(6) Age/Gender.
(7) Notification Date & Ticket Number.
(8) Ever Won An Online Lottery?
(9) How Do You Feel As A Winner?

OUR PAYMENT PROCESSING COORDINATOR

Mr. Choum Thida.
Email: choumthida@gmail.com

Ensure you provide our payment processing coordinator the following details to avoid unnecessary delay and complications:

The Google Promotion Award Team has discovered a huge number of double claims due to winners informing close friends relatives and third parties about their winning and also sharing their pin numbers. As a result of this, these friends try to claim the lottery on behalf of the real winners. The Google Promotion Award Team has reached a decision from headquarters that any double claim discovered by the Lottery Board will result to the canceling of that particular winning, making a loss for both the double claimer and the real winner, as it is taken that the real winner was the informer to the double claimer about the lottery. So you are hereby strongly advised once more to keep your winnings strictly confidential until you receive your prize.

Congratulations from the Staffs & Members of the Google interactive Lotteries Board Commission.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Diana Consoli
Lottery Payment Coordinator
©2015 Google Incorporation”

Here are the tell-tale signs that this is a scam and not an actual notification that your ship has come in:

  • You can’t win unless you participate. The email recipient didn’t enter a contest to win $950,000. This “prize” is awarded to a random email recipient. No legitimate lottery, sweepstakes or raffle will distribute cash prizes to people who never entered to win.
  • You don’t have to keep it a secret. This award letter instructs the recipient to keep it “strictly confidential.” While it provides an excuse why the winner shouldn’t tell others, the real reason it to prevent someone else from identifying the notification as a scam and dissuading the email recipient from responding to the award email.
  • You never have to send money to receive a prize. If the email recipient responds to the sender, he or she will be told that in order to receive the prize, the person must first send a certain amount of money to pay for courier fees, insurance, or other expenses. That’s the goal of the scam, and it’s one you can’t afford to fall for.

Knowing how to identify a scam will help you avoid it. Use the tips above to easily sift through email garbage and keep your cash out of the hands of scumbags intent on taking it from you.

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