Google 'Email Electronics Sweepstakes' Advance Fee Scam
According to this 'official notification' message that claims to be from Google UK, you have won £950,000 in the 'Email Electronics Sweepstakes', a lottery organized by Google in conjunction with the 'Foundation for the Promotion of Software Products'.
To claim your windfall, you are advised to complete a 'mandatory foreign payment release form' by sending your personal information to the 'Foreign Payment Bureau Consultant'.
The notification is in PDF format and comes complete with Google logos and even a supposed signature from Google CEO Larry Page.
However, the message is certainly not from Google and the claim that you have won a prize is a lie. In fact, the message is a typical advance fee scam designed to steal your money and personal information.
If you contact the 'consultant' with your details as instructed, you will soon receive requests for various upfront fees supposedly required to process your prize claim. The criminals running the scam will claim that the requested fees are to cover insurance, banking, tax, and other - completely imaginary - expenses. The scammers will insist that all the requested fees are payed in advance and cannot be deducted from the 'prize' itself.
Of course, the criminals will pocket all of the money sent and disappear. And, during the course of the scam, the criminals may have tricked you into divulging a large amount of your personal information. They may subsequently use this information to steal your identity.
Advance fee scams like this one are very common. To make their spurious claims seem more legitimate, the scammers often pretend to be associated with high-profile companies such as Google or Microsoft.
Be very wary of any email that claims that you have won a large sum of money in a lottery or promotion that you have never even entered.
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Subject: Official Letter.
Dear Google User.
You have been selected as a winner for using Google services,attached to this email is Our Official Notification Letter for your perusal.
Mr. Matt Brittin
CEO of Google Ltd UK.
Screenshot of attached PDF
Last updated: June 1, 2015
First published: June 1, 2015
By Brett M. Christensen
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