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London Olympics 2012 Lottery Scam

Outline
Email claims that the recipient has won £800,000 in the London 2012 Olympic Campaign Promotion.



Brief Analysis
The recipient has won nothing. The email has no connection whatsoever with the IOC or the London Olympics. In fact, the message is a typical advance fee scam designed to trick recipients into sending money and personal information to cybercriminals.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.





Last updated: 29th May 2012
First published: 29th May 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: A lottery for the Future 2012 Olympics

Email: sir.george_ellis.olympic@hotmail.co.uk

Congratulations!

Your E-mail address is one of the 9 lucky selected winning Email Address that won in the London 2012 Olympic Campaign Promotion; you have won the sum of (£800, 000.GBP) Pounds (Eight Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling), i wish to congratulate you on this Nomination. Below are your identification numbers, kindly fill the below information’s for official Records.
REFERENCE NUMBER: UK/2012 /OLY/CAMP
BATCH NUMBER: UK/2012/153/CAMP/
SECURITY CODE: 2011/2012/8828
1. Your Full name: ………………………
2. Your Country: …………………………
3. Contact Address: ………………………
4. Telephone Number: ………………….
5. Fax Number: ……………………………
6. Marital Status: …………………………
7. Occupation: ……………………………
8. Sex: ………………………………………
9. Age: ……………………………………..

You are required to forward the requested details of your winning to the above office contact details, to enable us facilitate the processing of your claim.

NOTE: THE IOC (INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE) SUPPORT BARCLAYS TEAM, TO CREATE AWARENESS FOR THE UPCOMING 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES, WHICH IS SPONSORING THIS PROGRAM.

Regards.
Elizabeth Adams.
Promotion Manager
LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS PROMOTION

The message arrives as a PDF email attachment as shown in the following screenshot:

London Olympics Scam PDF




Detailed Analysis
According to this message, the "lucky" recipient is one of nine people who have been selected as winners in a "Campaign Promotion" organized by officials at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The message claims that the recipient has been awarded the sum of Eight Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling after his or her email address was chosen as a winning entry. Supposedly, all the recipient need do to claim the prize is send the personal information requested in the message to a specified email address to facilitate processing of the claim.

However, the claims in the message are untrue. The recipient has won nothing. There is no prize. The supposed promotion does not exist. And the email is certainly not from London Olympic organizers, the IOC or any other official Olympic Games entity. In fact, the message is a very typical advance fee scam designed to fool recipients into handing their money and personal information over to criminals.

Those who fall for the ruse and send the requested information will subsequently be asked to pay an ongoing series of fees supposedly necessary to allow the claim to be processed. The criminals operating the scam campaign will claim that these fees are unavoidable legal requirements and will insist that they must be paid in full before the prize can be awarded. They will also insist that the fees cannot in any circumstances be deducted from the prize itself. The criminals will invent all kinds of "expenses" that must be met in advance by the "winner", including insurance costs, tax obligations and banking fees. Of course, all such fees are just as imaginary as the prize itself. Requests for more and more such fees will often continue until the victim runs out of available funds or finally realizes that he or she is being conned. All money sent will be pocketed by the criminals and the victim is very unlikely to ever receive a cent of it back.

Moreover, as the scam unfolds, the criminals may ask their victim to provide more and more personal information over and above the details sent in the initial reply. Ultimately, they may gain enough personal and financial information to steal their victim's identity as well as all the money already sent.

Such lottery scams are extremely common and have been around for many a long year. While email has made the distribution of such scam messages much easier and cheaper for criminals, the very same type of scam predates the Internet. Hard copy versions of such lottery scams have been sent out for decades. Despite much publicity and many warnings about such advance fee scams, they continue to gain new victims around the world every day.

Lottery scammers often base their cover stories on high profile sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup and the FIFA World Cup. In fact, a very similar scam to the one above was distributed in 2008 and claimed to be from the Chinese Olympic Committee for the Beijing Olympics.

No credible or legitimate promotion is ever likely to operate a prize draw in the way described in these scam messages. Any message that claims that your name or email address has been randomly selected as the winner of a large prize in a lottery that you have never entered is likely to be a scam.

Bookmark and Share References
Email Lottery Scams - International Lottery Scam Information
Rugby World Cup Advance Fee Lottery Scam
Chinese Olympic Committee Lottery Scam

Last updated: 29th May 2012
First published: 29th May 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer