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Issue 114 - May 2011 - Page 15

Google Promotion Award Advance Fee Scam

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Outline
Email claims that the recipient has won a large sum of money in a "Promotion Award" operated by search engine giant, Google.



Brief Analysis
The email is not from Google and the prize does not exist. The message is an advance fee scam designed to steal money and personal information from recipients.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 4th April 2011
First published: 28th August 2009
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example(Submitted, April 2011)
Subject: 76 Buckingham Palace Road

Google Incorporation
Belgrave House
76 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 9TQ
United Kingdom.
Winning No: GUK/877/798/2011
Ticket No: GUK/699/33/2011
Notification Date: 31/03/2011

GOOGLE ANNIVERSARY WINNING NOTIFICATION

We wish to congratulate you once again on this note, for being part of our winners selected this year. 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 Great British Pounds Sterling}

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 will be issued in your name by Google Promotion Award Team, You have therefore won the entire sum of 950,000.00 {Nine Hundred And Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling} and also a certificate of prize claims will be sent along side your winning cheque.

Sir Robinson Vick
Foreign Transfer Manager
Google Promotion Award Team
Email: agentrobinsonvick@mail.mn
robnsonvicks@blumail.org

You are advised to contact your Foreign Transfer Manager with the following details to avoid unnecessary delay and complications:

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) Ever Won An Online Lottery?
(8) How Do You Feel As A Winner?

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,
Dr. Donald Lloyd.
Google Promotion Award Team




Detailed Analysis
According to this email, the recipient has won the sum of 950,000 pounds in a promotion organized by the British branch of Internet giant, Google. The message claims that the recipient's email address was randomly chosen as the winning entry via an "online e-mail beta test" supposedly designed to ensure that Google stays the most popular search engine. The "winner" is instructed to contact the "Foreign Transfer Manager" and is sternly warned not to share news of the win with other people or risk forfeiting the prize.

However, the message is not from Google, and neither the prize money nor the promotion award itself actually exist. In fact, the message is part of an all too common scam designed to trick recipients into sending money and personal information to Internet criminals. Those who fall for the ruse and reply to the bogus "Foreign Transfer Manager" to claim their "winnings" will soon be asked to pay upfront fees that are supposedly required to procure the release of the funds. The scammers will invent various excuses as to why these fees are necessary and will insist that the fees cannot be deducted from the prize money itself. For example, they might claim that certain obligatory insurance or legal fees need to be paid in advance before the supposed prize money can be released. Or they might claim that various government levies or taxes must be paid before any prize funds can be transferred overseas. Any money sent by the victim will, of course, be pocketed by the scammers. In some cases, in desperate and entirely futile attempts to get their money back, victims may continue to send money to the scammers even after they suspect or have been informed that they are being conned. Moreover, during the course of the scam, the victims may inadvertently provide enough personal and financial information to allow the scammers to commit identity theft.

By insisting that their victim keeps the "win" confidential, the scammers lessen the chance that he or she will be told the truth about the scam attempt by a more knowledgeable friend. No legitimate organization is likely to require participants to keep their win confidential or risk losing their prize. Such a claim, along with other factors such as poor spelling and grammar, and blatant requests for sensitive personal information via unsecured email can serve as early warning indicators that a message may be an advance fee scam.

In fact, no legitimate company or organization would ever run a promotion in which winners are chosen via the random selection of an email address. Any message that claims that the recipient has won a large sum of money or valuable prizes in a promotion for which he or she has never bought a ticket or completed an entry form is quite likely to be an advance fee scam and should be treated with due caution. If you receive such a scam, do not reply to the message. Do not open any attachments or click on any links that the message may contain and do not attempt to make contact with the scammers via any means.

For more information about lottery scams and other advance fee scams, see:
Email Lottery Scams - International Lottery Scam Information
Nigerian Scams - 419 Scam Information
Internet Dating Scams

Example from August 2009:
Subject: Notification Date

[Google logo graphic removed]

Google Incorporations.
Stamford New Road,
Altrincham Cheshire,
WA14 1EP
London,
United Kingdom.
Winning No: GUK/877/798/2009
Ticket No: GUK/699/33/2009
GOOGLE ANNIVERSARY WINNING NOTIFICATION.

We wish to congratulate you once again on this note, for being part of our winners selected this year. 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 450,000. {Four Hundred And Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling}.

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 will be issued in your name by Google Promotion Award Team, You have therefore won the entire sum of 450,000.00 {Four Hundred And Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling} and also a certificate of prize claims will be sent along side your winning cheque.

Sir Richard Scholes.
Foreign Transfer Manager
Google Security Department.
E-mail:sir.richardscholes04@gmail.com

You are advised to contact your Foreign Transfer Manager with the following details to avoid unnecessary delay and complications:
VERIFICATION AND FUNDS RELEASE FORM.
(1) Your contact address.
(2) Your Tel/Fax numbers.
(3) Your Nationality/Country.
(4) Your Full Name/Sex.
(5) Occupation/Age.
(6) Ever won an online lottery?

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 claim your prize.

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

Sincerely,
Dr. Donald Lloyd.
Google Promotion Award Team.

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Issue 114 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
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  2. Amber Alert Hoax - Fake '72B 381' Abduction Alert Continues To Circulate
  3. Fake Order Notification Emails Carry PDF Exploit
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  7. Visa Card Violated Phishing Scam
  8. Facebook 'Virus' Alert - Twilight the Movie Link 'Worst Virus Ever' According to Facebook and CNN
  9. Prayer Request for Injured Soldier Tony Mullis
  10. Inaccurate Warnings Claim ALL 'bit.ly' Links Are Suspect and Should not be Clicked
  11. Facebook Non Secure Browsing Warning
  12. Facebook 'Trojan' Warning - Girl Who Killed Herself In Front Of Web Cam Video
  13. Do Circulating Photographs Show a Mass Fish Death In California Caused by the Japanese Tsunami?
  14. Facebook Rogue App Survey Scam - BBC News Check What She Did on Cam
  15. Google Promotion Award Advance Fee Scam
  16. Facebook "Your Password is Not Safe" Malware Email