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Issue 166 - November, 2013 (2nd Edition) - Page 24

'Microsoft Facebook Yahoo Windows Live Award' Advance Fee Scam

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Message claims the recipient has won £650,000 in a prize award organized by Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Windows Live and should contact the "fiduciary agent" to begin processing of the prize claim.

Pound sign

© lineartestpilot

Brief Analysis
The message is an utterly absurd attempt to trick gullible recipients into sending their money and personal information to Internet criminals. There is no money and no winners. Although rather lame, the scam attempt is quite amusing.

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Detailed Analysis

According to this message, the lucky recipient has won a whopping £650,000.00 based on the random selection of his or her email address online.  Supposedly, the award was organized by British Microsoft working in conjunction with Facebook, Yahoo and Windows Live.

The recipient is asked to send personal details to a listed "fiduciary agent" in South Africa to claim the unexpected windfall. The message comes in the form of an abysmally formatted .pdf attached to a "notification email". Of course, the message is a scam. In fact, it is so transparently a scam that one would hope that even less experienced users would quickly ascertain its true nature.   

It is a scam so obvious that it hardly needs to be analysed at all. But, it is such a poor attempt at advance fee scamming, that it is actually rather amusing and contains some inherent entertainment value. Hence my discussion here.

The listed companies certainly have not decided to work together as claimed. Perhaps in some strange alternative universe, that may actually happen. This is not that universe. And, given that Windows Live comprises a collection of services and software that is owned and operated by Microsoft, its inclusion in the list of participating companies is in fact rather redundant.

Moreover, one would think that, with all that combined technical expertise at their fingertips, they might manage to create a winning notification document without distorted and pixelated images. Perhaps such experts could have avoided creating a document that was so amateurishly rendered that it hurts ones eyes to gaze upon it?

Alas, having worked in this area for more than a decade, what silliness people will actually believe no longer holds any surprise for me. There are perhaps some who will actually fall for the scam and reply as instructed. Those that do will quickly be asked to send a series of payments, ostensibly to cover various unavoidable expenses associated with the pending release of the prize money. They may also be tricked into sending the criminals a good deal of personal and financial information. The money will disappear into the scammer's pockets and the information may be used to steal the identities of victims.

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Last updated: November 6, 2013
First published: November 6, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

Advance Fee Lottery Scams - International Lottery Scam Information

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Issue 166 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Philippines Typhoon Disaster Scams
  2. Wedding Invitation Malware Emails
  3. 'Suspicious Guy Claiming He is You' Spam Emails
  4. Hunting Family Posing With Dead Elephant Picture
  5. 'Missing Persons in Australia' Facebook Like-Farming Scam
  6. Baby Iko Facebook Sick Child Hoax
  7. 'Young Romanian Woman' Car Crash Scam Warning
  8. No, Scientists in Texas are NOT Going to Use Sex Offenders for Medical Research
  9. Facebook Hate Campaign Against Keely Currie
  10. Chinese Teleportation Road Rescue Video
  11. PlayStation 4 Like and Share Giveaway Facebook Scam
  12. Circulating Video of Girl Throwing Puppies Causing Outrage
  13. 'Bizarre Unknown' Fish Caught in Malaysia Not So Mysterious
  14. No, The Bitstrips App is NOT an NSA Trojan
  15. 'Removing An Old Setting' Facebook Notification Message
  16. Did a Man in China Sue His Wife For Being Ugly?
  17. '200 Pieces of iPhone' Facebook Giveaway Scam
  18. Gmail '4 Missed Emails' Pharmacy Spam
  19. 'Freedom Award Lottery Promotion Agency' Facebook Page Scam
  20. Spider in Oreo Cookie Photograph
  21. 'Giant Fukushima Mutant Dog' Picture
  22. Oprah Winfrey is NOT Dead - Links in Message Lead to Rogue App
  23. ANZ Phishing Scam - 'We Detected a Login Attempt With a Valid Password'
  24. 'Microsoft Facebook Yahoo Windows Live Award' Advance Fee Scam
  25. Chemical Burns From Gel In Diaper Warning Message
  26. Charles F. Feeney 'Grant Donation' Advance Fee Scam
  27. False and Damaging Rumour - 'RSPCA Paid to Keep Quiet About Halal Slaughtering'
  28. 'Apple ID Information Updated' Phishing Scam
  29. ASDA Attempted Kidnapping Hoax
  30. Bogus Message Proclaims ' Christmas is banned: IT Offends Muslims'
  31. False Rumour - Patron at Cosmo Romford Finds Dog Microchip Wedged in Tooth
  32. Hoax - Picture of 'World's Largest Tortoise'
  33. Fogg Hill Wolf Kill Warning Poster
  34. NO, Obama is NOT Opening Free Gas Stations in Poor Neighborhoods
  35. Marks & Spencer Poppy Sales Three Percent False Rumour
  36. Westpac 'Login Attempt From Unrecognized Device' Phishing Scam
  37. 'Really Bad Virus' Warning
  38. Facebook Surcharge Hoax - £1 Per Month From January 2015
  39. BMW M5 Giveaway Like-Farming Scam
  40. 'Baby Andrei Needs Help' Facebook Page Donations Scam
  41. Beware of Fake Obamacare Websites
  42. 'Temporarily Blocked From Liking Pages' Facebook Message
  43. 'Pieces of iPad' Giveaway Facebook Scam
  44. Hoax - Hacking Group Anonymous Targeting Facebook Users With Giraffe Profile Pics
  45. Bogus Warning - Canned Fruit From Thailand Contaminated With HIV
  46. Giraffe Profile Picture Virus Hoax