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Starbucks Promo Advance Fee Scam

Outline
Email purporting to be from coffee chain Starbucks claims that the recipient's email address has been shortlisted as one of eight UK winners of a shared 200,000 pound cash prize offered by the company as a thank-you to customers.



Brief Analysis
The email is not from Starbucks and the claim that the recipient has won a large cash prize is a lie. In fact, the message is a scam designed to trick the recipient into sending money and personal information to cybercriminals.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.





Last updated: 26 June, 2012
First published: 26 June, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example

From: STARBUCKS INTERNATIONAL PROMO <worldpromo@starbucksint.com>
Subject: UK CUSTOMERS (VALIDATE YOUR EMAIL)

DEAR UK CUSTOMERS,

STARBUCKS IS GIVING OUT CASH GIFTS TO

SHORTLISTED EMAIL CANDIDATES. THIS IS A WAY TO SAY THANK YOU.

YOUR EMAIL HAS BEEN SHORTLISTED AMONGST OTHERS AS WINNERS OF THIS YEAR

STAR BUCKS EMAIL COMPETITION. YOUR EMAIL WAS SELECTED RANDOMLY WITH SEVEN OTHERS AMONGST MANY UK RESIDENTS EMAILS ENTERED INTO THE COMPETITION.

YOUR REFERENCE NUMBER IS XWT66577488BCK. A LUMP SUM OF TWO HUNDRED

THOUSANDS POUNDS WILL BE SHARED AMONGST THE 8 EMAILS SHORTLISTED WITHIN

48 HOURS.

TO VALIDATE YOUR EMAIL, PLEASE REPLY TO verification@starbucksint.com WITH THE FOLLWING INFO:

NAME:
FULL ADDRESS:
MOBILE PHONE:
DATE OF BIRTH:
A SCANNED COPY OF YOUR PASSPORT OR DRIVERS LICENCE:

STEPHEN ROBERTS
PROMOTIONS MANAGER
Starbucks Coffee Company,




Detailed Analysis
According to this email, the recipient's email address has been shortlisted along with seven others as the winner of a large cash prize offered to UK customers by popular coffee outlet Starbucks. The message claims that a cash prize of $200,000 will be shared among eight people whose email addresses were randomly selected as winners in this year's Starbucks International Promo competition. The recipient is urged to "validate" his email address as one of the winning entries by replying to the message with name and contact details and scanned ID. Supposedly, the cash prize is Starbuck's way of saying thank-you to its UK based customers.

However, the message is certainly not from Starbucks and the supposed prize does not exist. In fact, the message is a typical advance fee prize scam. Those who fall for the ruse and attempt to verify their claim by replying, will soon be asked to pay upfront fees of various descriptions. The scammers will claim that these fees are required to cover legal, insurance, banking, taxation or other - entirely invented - costs. The scammers will insist that these fees cannot be paid out of the supposed prize itself and must be sent before the prize can be awarded. If a victim does send money as requested, further fee requests are likely to continue until he or she belatedly comes to realize that a scam is afoot or simply runs out of money.

Moreover, during the course of the scam, the victim may be tricked into providing a large amount of personal information, starting with the scanned ID and other details outlined in the initial request. The criminals behind the scam may subsequently use this information to steal their victim's identity or, alternatively, onsell it to other criminals.

Such advance fee scam attempts are very common and continue to find new victims all around the world every day. Be distrustful of any message that claims that your name or email address has been randomly selected as the winner of a large prize. Legitimate companies or lotteries do not operate in this manner.

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Email Lottery Scams - International Lottery Scam Information





Last updated: 26 June, 2012
First published: 26 June, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer