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UK National Lottery Scams

Emails supposedly from the UK National Lottery claim that the recipient has won a large sum of money and must supply personal information to the "agent" in charge of the prize.

UK Lottery Advance Fee Scams


Brief Analysis
The emails are not from the UK National Lottery as claimed and the recipient has not won a prize. The messages are advance fee scams designed to trick people into sending their money and personal information to Internet criminals.

Examples (Submitted March 2013)
UK Lottery Scam

(Submitted December 2006)

The National Lottery
LOndon, Uk.
Ref: UK/9420X2/68
Batch: 074/05/ZY369


We happily announce to you the draw (1117) of the UK NATIONAL LOTTERY,online Sweepstakes International program held on Monday,18th december,2006 in London, UNITED-KINGDOM. You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of£558,077( FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY EIGHT THOUSAND, SEVENTY SEVEN POUNDS STERLINGS) incash,credited to file ktu/9023118308/03. This is from a total cash prize of £ 3. 4 Million pounds, shared amongst the first Four (4) lucky winners in this category.

All participants for this online version were selected randomly from World Wide Web sites through computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000 unions, associations, and corporate bodies that are listed online. To begin your claims,attached here is the claim Verification form, which you are expected to fill and submit back to your fiduciary agent immediately via e-mail.

Hope to have informed you correctly.

MR petterson walker
(Form HLP)

Congratulations once again from all members and staff of this program. Thank you for being part of our promotional lottery programs.

Yours faithfully,
Richard .K. Lloyd.
Online coordinator for UK NATIONAL LOTTERY

Detailed Analysis
A favourite trick of lottery scammers is to try to add a patina of legitimacy to their fraudulent activities by naming genuine organizations in their scam messages. For example, they may claim in their scam messages that a high profile company such as Microsoft, Coca Cola, or Honda has sponsored the prize on offer. Of course, these supposed endorsements are used without the permission or knowledge of the named companies. Unfortunately, such fake endorsements are often enough to convince gullible recipients that the "lottery prize" is genuine.

A common and effective deployment of this method is to claim that the "Winning Notification" email is from a genuine lottery organization. Often, the scammers will use the same, or a very similar, name to that of a real lottery. Even if the recipient is at first a little leery, he or she may be convinced that the claims in the scam email are genuine after conducting a web search on the name of the lottery and discovering the legitimate lottery website. The genuine lottery website is likely to be professionally presented and may even be operated by an official government organization. The potential victim may erroneously believe that, by independently searching for and discovering the genuine website, he or she has effectively confirmed the information in the message. Thus, the illusion of legitimacy that the scammers try to create is significantly enhanced and another innocent Internet user may be victimized.

One real lottery that is almost continually targeted by lottery scammers is The National Lottery in the UK. There are dozens of variations of these scam messages, all claiming that the recipient has won money in the UK National Lottery. As discussed above, people who come across the real National Lottery website may be convinced that the scam message they received is genuine. Those with prior knowledge of the National Lottery may also be more likely to fall for the scam. The National Lottery Commission in the UK has posted information about these scams on its website.

The aim of these scam emails is generally to persuade the victim that it is necessary to pay upfront fees before the "winnings" can be released. In reality, there are no winnings and any fees that victims part with go directly into the pockets of the criminals running the scam. Also, over the course of their correspondence with a victim, the scammers may accumulate a significant amount of the victim's personal information. The scammers may eventually accumulate enough information to steal the victim's identity.

Typically, lottery scam messages claim that your name or email address has been "randomly selected" to win. However, legitimate lotteries do not operate in this way. In almost all cases, you can only win if you have actually bought a ticket. Even free, advertising supported, lottery systems will generally require you to register and specifically enter a draw.

In short, do not trust any unsolicited email that claims that you have been randomly selected to win a large sum of money, even if the lottery named in the message is real.

There are a great many variations of the basic lottery scam described here. To read more information about lottery scams and view many more examples, see:

Email Lottery Scams - International Lottery Scam Information

Last updated: March 27, 2013
First published: December 20, 2006
By Brett M. Christensen
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