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Criminals Use Names of Lottery Winners Adrian and Gillian Bayford in Advance Fee Scams

Outline
Emails purporting to be from UK EuroMillions winners Adrian and Gillian Bayford claim that the the recipient's email address was selected as a winner of a cash grant of one million pounds.



Brief Analysis
The email is not from Adrian and Gillian Bayford and the claim that the recipient has been selected to receive a cash grant is a lie. The message is an attempt by cybercriminals to trick recipients into sending them money and personal information.

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Last updated: January 14, 2013
First published: January 14, 2013
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Examples

Hello dear friend!!!

Our names are Adrian and Gillian Bayford …This email is to inform you that in the month of August, 2012,We won one of Britain's biggest lottery of 148.6 million pounds..

After seeking financial advice from our legal counsel, we have decided to commence our 2012 charity foundation/projects, and also use the opportunity to give out cash grant of 1 million pounds each to at least 20 persons to become millionaires like us. It is also our intention to make out donations to charity projects and the less privileged all over the world..

To confirm this, you may watch our interview by visiting the web page below;
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/aug/14/british-euromillions-jackpot-winners-revealed

We know this may come as a big surprise to you but It will interest you to know that your email address was selected alongside other 19 lucky email addresses out of thousands of internet users worldwide. Random selection was done by the legal advisers to this donation programme, declaring YOU as a lucky individual for a cash grant of 1 million pounds from us.

This may sound like a joke or a hoax but please have no doubt as it is 100% real...Hence we expect you to reply back to us immediately through our contact email address below for more details on how to get receive your cash grant.
Best of luck,
Adrian and Gillian Bayford
Email: (removed)



Good Day to you our lucky donation recipient,

Your response have been received and well comprehended. First please
know that you are not to doubt this,because sometimes we know too much
in life to believe God blessings probably because of the different
facts and experience we have had and gathered hence we rob ourselves
of Gods blessings.This is Gods blessings to you and we want you to
know that we did a personal research on the people we contacted. I and
my wife are grateful to God for this fortune, and we thank him so much
for the smiles he has put on our faces, so in turn we have decided to
put smiles on the faces of other people.

It might interest you to know that we are fully aware that most people
might be skeptic about this donation, that was why we decided to go
public and you can find information of our Euro Million Jackpot win
via this link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2187999/Will-148m-EuroMillions-jackpot-winner-share-fortune-long-lost-half-brother-met.html


We are sure with the above link you have visited and with the video
you have seen, you wouldn't be skeptic as this is not a scam, it is
absolutely a blessing from God. We believe we are doing the right
thing in deciding to put smiles on the faces of other people by
reaching out to some individuals, the less privileged ones and charity
organizations too.

In view of all these, we want you to know that measures have been put
in place for our intentions to be implemented swiftly and by so doing,
we require you to immediately get back to us with the below
information.

Full Names:
Contact/resident Address:
Phone Number:
Country/Nationality:

Please be aware that we do not need your information for any other
purpose, we only need these information because we need to have a
correct record of who we are dealing with so as to establish a better
relationship with you.Also know that this win is for sharing and not
for keeping as the intent is to ensure that the less having and less
privilege in the society are taken of the streets with this money so
as to have a better life,care and good education so please be aware.

Awaiting your prompt response.

Adrian and Gillian Bayford.




Detailed Analysis
In August 2012, UK couple Adrian and Gillian Bayford won a whopping £148m in the EuroMillions lottery. As is often the case with regard to such high profile wins, advance fee scammers moved quickly to exploit the couple's good fortune.

The above message, which pretends to be from the Bayfords, claims that the couple has decided to give one million pounds to 20 people that they have randomly selected via their email addresses. And, claims the message, the recipient is one of these lucky individuals. The message instructs the recipient to reply to Adrian and Gillian in order to claim the million pound grant.

However, the email has no connection to Adrian and Gillian Bayford whatsoever and the recipient has not been chosen for a cash grant as claimed. Those who fall for the ruse and reply to the email will first be asked to supply personal and contact information to support their claim ( see second example above). Next they will be informed that they must pay a series of upfront fees supposedly required to allow transfer of the cash grant. The scammers - still posing as Adrian and Gillian Bayford - will claim that these fees are needed to cover unavoidable expenses such as legal, banking and insurance fees. And the criminals will insist that the money cannot be deducted from the "cash grant" itself for legal reasons.

Alas, all of the money sent to cover these - entirely fictional - fees will be pocketed by the scammers and, of course, the victims will never receive the promised one million pounds. Nor are victims ever likely to get back any of the money they have sent.

Moreover, during the course of the scam, victims may have divulged a significant amount of their personal and financial information to the scammers and this information may later be used to steal their identities .

At its core, this is just a typical advance fee lottery scam like many thousands of others that have been distributed over many years. However, by using the names of real lottery winners and providing links to genuine news articles about the win, the scammers are able to disguise their lies with a patina of legitimacy. Scammers have tried the same tactic before with previous UK lottery winners Colin and Chris Wier and other such winners.

Of course, while some lottery winners may indeed give a portion of their winnings to charities and the less fortunate, they are highly unlikely to simply give away millions of pounds to total strangers based on the random selection of email addresses. Such advance fee scams are very common and they continue to gain new victims every day. Don't be fooled! Any message that claims that you have won a large prize in a lottery that you have never entered and is supposedly based on the random selection of your name or email address should be treated as suspect. Genuine lotteries or grants do not conduct their operations in such a manner.

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References

EuroMillions: Second hand record dealer wins £148 million in lottery
EuroMillions email scam falsely promises a share of couple's £148m winnings in exchange for your bank details
Email Lottery Scams - International Lottery Scam Information

Last updated: January 14, 2013
First published: January 14, 2013
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer