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McDonald's 'Mega Promotion Award' Advance Fee Scam

Outline
Email purporting to be from McDonald's Spain claims that the recipient has won a large sum of money in the McDonald's Mega Promotion Award and should contact the "Verification Officer" to process the prize claim.



Brief Analysis
The message is not from McDonald's and the claim that the recipient has won a prize is untrue. The message is an 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: July 23, 2012
First published: July 23, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example

Subject: MCDONALD'S MEGA PROMOTION AWARD

Find attached herewith your MegaPrize Final Notice.

If you are unable to view/print the attached document, do not hesitate
to contact us and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Congratulations!

Thank you.

Sincerely,
McDonalds Awards Team

Text of attached PDF:

McDonalds MEGA MILLION PROMOTIONS AWARDS
McDonalds Restaurant Ltd.,
EDIFICIO - MARGARITA 54-B
23023 MADRID, SPAIN.


Url: www.mcdonalds.es
July 09, 2012.
Claim No: EUR/76724/12ESP
Control No: 2131410.


Dear Authorized Email Recipient,
Enjoy €850,000.00 EUR from McDonalds Mega Million Promotions Award in Spain. Congratulations for
being among the selected lucky winners.


A day off from work and enjoy your cash prize money. If you are receiving this notification via this email
account, then you are the selected lucky winner and you are eligible to claim your prize immediately on a
positive identification being the lucky recipient associated with this email address. Contact the accredited
Payment Verification Officer today to begin your claim process. Call the phone number below during
office hours otherwise send an email or fax thus:


Verification Officer: Don Juan Pablo
Prize Centre S.L.
Email: prize.centre@gmx.com
Phone: +34-910-910-206.


Please retain this notification with a copy of your Cashier’s Check and make note of your claim and
control numbers printed above for references when contacting the Verification Officer. Act now to claim
your prize within the eligibility period and avoid forfeiture. Congratulations!


Most sincerely,
McDonalds Awards Team,

Screenshot of attached pdf:

McDonald's Advance Fee Lottery Scam




Detailed Analysis
According to this email, the "lucky" recipient has won the princely sum of €850,000.00 in the McDonald's Mega Million Promotions Award organized by the Spanish branch of the fast food giant. Details of the supposed win are contained in an attached PDF that includes a photograph of the winning cashier's check along with instructions explaining how to claim the prize.

However, the message is certainly not from McDonald's in Spain or anywhere else in the world. And there is no prize. In fact, the message is a typical advance fee scam designed to trick unwary recipients into sending money and personal information to Internet criminals. Those who contact the "Verification Officer" to claim their prize, will soon be asked to send money to cover various fees and charges. The criminals running the scam will claim that these fees must be paid in full before the prize claim can be processed. They will claim that the money is required to pay legal, insurance or banking fees or various other entirely imaginary payments. And they will insist that, for legal reasons, the fees cannot be paid out of the prize itself under any circumstances.

People who fall for the ruse and actually send money are likely to receive continuing requests for further fees until they run out of money or finally realize that the operation is a scam. Often, the scammers will also trick victims into submitting their personal and financial information, ostensibly as a means of proving their identity and validating their prize claim. This information may later be used to steal the identity of victims.

There are a great many versions of such advance fee lottery scams. People all around the world continue to fall for lottery scams every day. Be very cautious of any email, text message, letter or phone call that claims that you have won a large sum of money or substantial prizes in a lottery promotion that you have never entered or never bought a ticket for. Such scams generally claim that winners were randomly selected based on their name or email address. Genuine lotteries or company promotions are not conducted in such a manner.

If you receive such a scam email, do not reply or make any contact with the senders.

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References

Email Lottery Scams - International Lottery Scam Information
Phone Text Message Lottery Scams







Last updated: July 23, 2012
First published: July 23, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer