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Beck's Beer Promotion Scam

Summary:
Email claims that the recipient has won Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand Euros in a beer promotion from German brewer, Beck's (Full commentary below).



Status:
False - the email is a scam and was not send by Beck's.

Example:(Submitted, January 2007)
From: Beck's & Company

Subject: Becks New Year Annual Award ****Congratulations*****


Dear Winner,

This is to inform you of the award of Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand Euro, with Ref Number BBTWYEH267 and Pin Number 84768498 from Beck's Beer Company New Year Promotions. This promotional award aimed at raising the profile of Becks beer consumers males and females aged 18 and above in rural and urban areas.

You have been approved to claim the sum of Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand Euro as one of the winners of this year Beck's Beer Company Annual Christmas Promotions, this online winners email were generated from the World Wide Web, the promotion takes place annually to challenge and to take market share from the popular Dutch import beer.

Your Email Ref Number BBTWYEH267 falls within our European booklet representative's office in United Kingdom. In view of this, your award of Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand Euro will be released to you by our payment office; Our United Kingdom Project Manager will commence the process to facilitate the release of your funds as soon as you contact him.

Find the contact details below;
--------------------------------------------------------
[Name Removed]
Beck's Beer Promotional Officer.
Email: becksbpofficeuk@yahoo.co.uk
Tel: [Removed]

--------------------------------------------------------
[Name Removed]
Beck's Beer Christmas Online coordinator.




Commentary:
This scam message claims that the recipient has been awarded the sum of Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand Euros as the winner of a promotion organized by Beck's, a German beer company. However the message was not sent by Beck's. The supposed promotion is an attempt by fraudsters to trick recipients into paying upfront fees to collect their "prize" as well as hand over sensitive personal information that could be used to steal identities.

Scams that offer a fake lottery payout or other prize are very common. The scammers use a variety of tactics to add a patina of legitimacy to their fraudulent operations. They often falsely claim that a well-known company is promoting or endorsing the supposed promotion, in this case, Beck's. Beck's has published a scam warning on its website, which states, in part:
We would like to inform you that we were recently confronted with fraudulent e-mails, sent out in the name of Brauerei Beck. In these e-mails, people maliciously use our company name and the Beck’s beer brand in order to get personal data and even money from you

They pretend to represent the Brauerei Beck and organised a false promotion. They request to complete a questionnaire, attached to the e-mail and falsely drawn up on our company letterhead. Upon receipt of the completed questionnaire, they send a letter confirming that you won a price (again with false letterhead attached). But in order to get this price, you need to pay some amount in advance.
A person who falls for the ruse and responds to the message, is likely to receive several follow-up messages designed to drawn him or her deeper into the scam and reveal personal information. Eventually, he or she will receive a message that asks for fees to be payed to procure the release of the "winnings".

This example shows a follow-up email related to the above scam message:
From: Beck's & Company

Subject:Re: Becks New Year Annual Award ****Congratulations*****


Attn:
Your winning cheque has just been issued (PAY TO [Removed], Please confirm the name as written in the cheque of 550,000 euro.

I believe you understand that you will be required to make payment for the cost as adviced below.

(1) Handling and Administrative...97 GBP
(2) Value Added Tax (VAT)..........159 GBP
(3) Cost of Delivery (C.O.D) fedEx....87 GBP
Total............343 GBP.

You are to proceed in making the payment of Three Hundred and Forty Three Great Britain Pounds Sterling Via Western Union Money Transfer as it is the fastest and convenient way my assistance promotional officer Mr. Johnson Moore to pick up the funds and equally go straight to fedEx Courier company to post the certified cheque and winning certificate, you are to make the payment with the details below, dont forget to scan and send me the payment slip as soon as you make the payment.

I believe by now you must be very happy to be amongs this year winners of the Beck's Beer New Year Annual Award, i will advice you proceed to make the payment as soon as you recieve this message so that your package can gets to you 48 hrs after acknowledging the reciept of your payment so that the cheque will be cashed in your account quickly, please find below the payment details, make the payment via WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER of Three Hundred and Forty Three Great Britain Pounds Sterling (343 GBP).

WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER.

Name: [Removed].
Address: London, United Kingdom.

Accept my advice and do as i have instructed so you could get your funds available in your account as our bank will send an urgent release of funds to winners bank, that is to say your cheque will be cleared within 72 hours of deposit, once more find above the payment details to facilitate the transfer of 343 GBP for the HANDLING, ADMINISTRATIVE, VALUE ADDED TAX AND COST OF TRANSFER.

Please you have to understand that the required fee cannot be deducted from your winning funds for the fact that your funds has been insured in a bristish hard insurance policy, it will also be against the norms of the company to deduct from winning prize,this law has just been recently be implemented for the fact that some winners in the recent past disregards and abused the opportunity been given to them to make the payment after recieving their winning cheque, you should equally understand that we the officials is assisting you winners(you) to get your winning prize as our assigned official duty is to pay winners on cash on the listed retails offices in the countries i had made you to understand in my previous mail, therefore the required fee is mandatory by you winners to pay, you will not expect we the officials to use our funds to transfer your cheque and winning certificate to you.

Definately as the Promotional officer is my duty to make sure your cheque gets to you as soon as you make the payment.

Once More congratulations from staff of Beck's Beer Company.


Accordingly,

[Name Removed]
Promotional officer.

If a victim complies by sending the 343 GBP requested in the message, he or she will most probably receive further requests for money, ostensibly for unexpected delivery or banking expenses. The scammers may also continue to request the victim to supply more and more personal information until they have enough to steal his or her identity.

Thus the victim will be left out of pocket and, of course, never receive the supposed prize money, which never existed in the first place. Since the criminals running these scams are usually not in the same country as their victims, it can be very difficult for law enforcement authorities to apprehend and prosecute them. It is unlikely that the victim will ever get his or her money back. To make matters worse, the victim may have his or her identity stolen.

Be very cautious of any unsolicited email, letter or fax that claims you have won money or a prize in a promotion that you never entered.

For more about these sorts of scams see:
Email Lottery Scams - International Lottery Scam Information


References:
WELCOME TO THE BECK'S EXPERIENCE
Email Lottery Scams - International Lottery Scam Information

Last updated: 16th January 2007
First published: 16th January 2007

Write-up by Brett M.Christensen