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Issue 137 - August 2012 (2nd Edition) - Page 26

Colin And Chris Weir Donation Programme Advance Fee Scam

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Outline
Email that pretends to be from UK lottery winners Colin And Chris Weir claims that the couple has decided to donate £1,500,000 of their winnings to the email's recipient.



Brief Analysis
The email is not from Colin and Chris Weir and and the recipient is not set to receive a donation of £1,500,000. The message is a scam intended to trick recipients into sending money and personal information to Internet con artists. Colin and Chris Weir really did win a very large lottery prize in 2011, but they did not send this email nor are they donating large portions of their win based on the random selection of email addresses. The scammers have used the name and photograph of the winning couple to make their lies seem more believable.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: August 3, 2012
First published: August 3, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example

Subject: 2012 Colin And Chris Weir Cash/Charity Donation programme!!

Lottery Winners Colin And Chris Weir

Compliments of the day, My name is Mr Colin Weir.

On 12.07.2011, my wife and I won the Biggest EuroMillions Jackpot of £161,163,000 GBP and we just commenced our 2012 Cash/Charity Donation programme.

To verify our identity, please visit the web page below;

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2015539/Euromillions-winners-flee-Spain-begging-letters-pour-in.html

Your email address was submitted to my wife and I by the Google Management Team and you received this email because we have listed your email as one of the lucky beneficiaries, Kindly send us the below details so that we can issue a cheque for £1,500,000.00 in your name.

*Full Name:
*Country:
*Age:
*Occupation:
*Sex:
*Mobile/Tel:

Congratulations and Best of Luck
Sincerely,
Colin & Chris Weir.




Detailed Analysis
This email was supposedly sent out by UK couple Colin and Chris Weir who won a very large lottery prize in 2011. The message claims that the couple is giving away a sizable portion of their winnings as part of their "2012 Cash/Charity Donation programme". And, claims the message, the lucky recipient has been selected as one of the beneficiaries of this programme and has therefore been awarded the princely sum of £1,500,000. The recipient is instructed to email Colin and Chris with name and contact details so that a cheque for the "donation" can be issued.

However, the email is not from Colin and Chris Weir and the recipient has not been awarded any money as claimed. The message is an attempt by cybercriminals to trick recipients into sending them money and personal information. In 2011, the couple won £161 million in the EuroMillions lottery making them Britain's biggest ever lottery winners. The huge win generated a great deal of publicity at the time, with the couple reportedly fleeing to Spain after being inundated with begging letters asking for a share in the fortune.

The scammers responsible for this message have attempted to capitalize on the publicity surrounding the win by posing as Colin and Chris Weir. By using a stolen photograph of the couple and linking to a news report that may seem to support the claims in their cover story, the scammers hope to make their lies a little more believable.

But, those who fall for the ruse and reply to the message to claim their money will soon be asked to pay a series of upfront fees. The scammers will claim that the fees are unavoidable and are required to cover a host of - entirely imaginary - expenses such as insurance, legal and banking costs or income taxes. The scammers will make it clear from the outset that that all of the requested fees must be paid before the prize cheque can be sent. Under no circumstances, they will claim, can the fees be paid out of the donation itself. Further requests for fees are likely to continue until victims finally realize that they are being conned or simply run out of money to send. Of course, the supposed donation does not exist and victims who send money as requested are very unlikely to get any of it back. The scammers will demand that all of the supposed fees are wired to them electronically as cash, so after the scam has taken its course, they will simply disappear with the money. And, because victims may be tricked into submitting a large amount of personal and financial information during the course of the scam, they may also open themselves up to potential identity theft as well.

Advance fee lottery scams of this nature are extremely common and take many forms. Versions of the scam were sent out via surface mail long before the rise of the Internet. These days, such scams are commonly distributed via phone text message and social media outlets as well as via email. Be wary of any message that claims that you have been awarded a large sum of money based on the random selection of your name or email address. While some lottery winners might well decide to donate some of their winnings to charity , it is highly improbable that they would just hand out large sums of money to total strangers. No lottery or charity programme is ever likely to conduct its affairs in such a manner.


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References

EuroMillions winners flee to Spain as the begging letters pour in asking for cut of £161m fortune
Email Lottery Scams - International Lottery Scam Information
Phone Text Message Lottery Scams
Facebook Sweepstakes Advance Fee Scam


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Issue 137 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Anti Text-Driving Message - Car Wedged Under Truck Image
  2. Nationwide Phishing Scam Emails
  3. Faux Image - Double Sunset on Mars
  4. Microsoft Cyber-Crime Department Phishing Scam
  5. Does A Photo Depict A Puppy Being Forced to Drink Vodka?
  6. Post Circulating Claims Hotel Made Disabled US Veteran Crawl Down Stairs
  7. AFL vs NRL - Wrongdoings of Australian Members of Parliament Hoax
  8. Three.co.uk Phishing Scam
  9. Another Facebook Sick Baby Hoax - Baby With Brain Cancer
  10. Circulating Opinion Piece - 'Democratic, Republican Liberal-Progressive's Worst Nightmare'
  11. Fake Three (Or Seven) Headed Snake Image
  12. Misleading Health Advice Email - 'Mayo Clinic on Aspirin and Heart Attacks'
  13. Facebook Survey Scam - Free Argos Gift Card
  14. 'Email Deactivation Warning' Phishing Scam
  15. Anti-Obama Youtube Video Compiles Multiple Conspiracy Theories
  16. Fake AT&T Bill Emails Point To Malware
  17. Messages Claim Coca Cola to be Banned In Bolivia
  18. 'Free Apple Product' Text Message Survey Scam
  19. Circulating Warning - Facebook May Close Down Animal Rescue Account'
  20. 2012 FIFA World Cup Online Lottery Advance Fee Scam
  21. Email Claiming US Gold Medal Gymnast Gabrielle Douglas Faces Lifetime Ban Used to Spread Malware
  22. Bigpond Security Service Phishing Scam
  23. Wrestling Star John Cena is NOT Dead
  24. Hoax - NASA Predicts Total Blackout of Planet in Dec 2012
  25. Wrestling Star Undertaker is NOT Dead
  26. Colin And Chris Weir Donation Programme Advance Fee Scam
  27. US EPA Regulations Force Power Plant Closures
  28. 'View Facebook Followers' Scam Targets Twitter Users
  29. Lloyds TSB 'New Banking Authentication' Phishing Scam
  30. Faux Image - Pilots Protesting Chemtrails
  31. Telstra Bill Account Update Phishing Scam
  32. McDonald's Signboard Supporting Chick-Fil-A
  33. ABSA 'Authorized EFT Payment Received' Phishing Scam
  34. Hoax Picture - Obama Holding Phone Upside Down
  35. 'eBay Item Not Received' Phishing Scam Email
  36. Wells Fargo 'Security Check' Phishing Scam
  37. False Warnings - 'Cleaning out Friends List' Questions on Facebook Contain Viruses or are Posted by Hackers