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Blackberry Award Advance Fee Scam

Outline
Email purporting to be from smartphone manufacturer Blackberry claims that the recipient has won a large sum of money in the Blackberry 12th Anniversary Awards.



Brief Analysis
The email is not from Blackberry and the supposed award does not exist. The message is a scam designed to trick recipients into sending money and personal information to Internet criminals.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 19th February 2011
First published: 19th February 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: You have won Blackberry Award

BLACKBERRY 12TH ANNIVERSARY AWARDS CENTRE, # BLACKBERRY UK & IRELAND.

Dear Award winner,

Award Reference code: BBRIM568A2011

File number: BB255/647/390

This is to inform you that you have won yourself an Award of Eight hundred thousand British Pounds (800,000 GBP) in the Blackberry 12th year Anniversary Awards as organized by the Anniversary Centre of Blackberry Inc, held in London United Kingdom,

BlackBerry is a line of mobile e-mail and Smartphone devices developed and designed by company Research In Motion (RIM).

The Anniversary Centre of Blackberry Inc selected your email id as one of the 120 chosen fortunate winners to receive this award. Promotion. Awards MUST be claimed by the email owner ONLY, not later than 30 days from the day of notification.

Please you are advised to file for your claim immediately through our agent Mr. Allen Mohammed Immediately by providing him with the bellow stated information:
1. Full name……………….
2. Country…………….
3. Age…………………
4. Occupation………………..
5. Nationality ………………
6. Telephone/Fax Numbers……………..

Director of Peoples Operations:
Name: Mr. Allen Mohammed
Tel: +44 8447747530
Fax: +44 8447742753

E-Mail: allenmohammed@*******

Please do not reply if you are NOT the owner of this email address. Congratulations once again!!

Sincerely Yours,
Dr. Williams Jordan (Zonal Coordinator)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After 12 years of establishment, Blackberry Inc is worth over US $43 Billion with over 1.5 Million workers worldwide making it the best of mobile e-mail and Smartphone devices developed and designed by Canadian company Research in Motion (RIM).




Detailed Analysis
According to this email, which claims to be from smartphone company Blackberry, the recipient has won the sum of 800,000 pounds in the "Blackberry 12th year Anniversary Awards". The message claims that the recipient's email id was chosen as one of the winners of the award by the award organizers, the "Anniversary Centre of Blackberry Inc", based in London, UK. The recipient is urged to contact the "agent" listed in the message immediately in order to file a claim to receive the prize money.

However, the email is certainly not from Blackberry and the claim that the recipient has won a cash prize is a lie. There is no Blackberry 12th year Anniversary Award and no prize. In fact, the email is the opening move in an in oft-played game of fraud and deceit designed to separate the unwary from their money and personal information. Those who fall for the gambit and contact the - entirely bogus - claims agent will soon be asked to send money, ostensibly to cover various "fees" such as insurance costs, bank fees, taxes and administration expenses. The criminals running the scam will insist that none of these fees can be deducted from the prize itself for legal reasons. They will warn that failure to pay all of the required fees will result in forfeiture of the prize. Of course, all money sent by the victim will be pocketed by the scammers.

Moreover, along with the personal information they collected via the victim's initial reply email, the scammers may ask for even more personal and financial details as the scam progresses. In this way, the scammers may collect enough information to allow them to steal their victim's identity.

This type of advance fee prize scam is very common and has been around in various forms for many years. The scammers often hijack the names of high profile companies, financial organizations or government departments as a means of making their lies seem more believable.

In spite of the fact that warnings about such scams have been published over and over again via a great many websites, news outlets, government press releases and various other media, people from all over the world still fall victim to them. Internet users should be very cautious of any unsolicited message that claims that they have won a large sum of money or a major prize in a a lottery, award or promotion that they have never even entered. Any claim that the recipient's email address has been randomly selected as the winning entry from a pool of addresses collected online should be treated with the utmost suspicion. Genuine lotteries or promotions do not operate in this manner.

Read more information about advance fee lottery scams


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Last updated: 19th February 2011
First published: 19th February 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer