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UK National Welfare Christmas Lottery Scam

Outline
Email claims that the recipient has won the UK National Welfare Christmas Lottery and should contact a specified agent in order to claim a large cash prize.



Brief Analysis
The message is a scam. It is not from a real lottery organization and the supposed prize money does not exist. Those who contact the bogus "agent" specified in the message will be asked to sent upfront fees supposedly to allow their "prize money" to be released. They will also be asked to send personal information that may be used to steal their identity. All money and information sent by victims will be collected and used by Internet criminals. If you receive an email like this one, DO NOT reply as requested. DO NOT send any money or information. Bookmark and Share
Detailed analysis and references below example.



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Last updated: 27th December 2009
First published: 27th December 2009
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: Uk National Welfare Christmas Lottery..

Uk National Welfare Christmas Lottery..
[Removed] West London SW2 8JG, United Kingdom.

Dear Beneficiary,

This is to notify you that you have been chosen By the Board of trustees of Uk National Welfare Christmas Lottery based in Britain as one of the final recipients of a Cash Grant/Prize of 1,000,000.00 GBP, for your own personal, education and business development. This promotion is to show our customers all over the world, our appreciation.
Please endeavor to quote your Qualification numbers: (File #: IMSL/FAW3515/UK) in all discussions.

Please contact our licensed and accredited agent assigned to you for the claim of your prize:
Contact agent: Mr.Floyd Johnson
Tell: [Removed]
e-Mail: batch09@9.cn

Provide the following data's: 1.Name, 2. Complete address, Mobile Num and your File Number to the email above.
On behalf of the Board kindly accept our warmest congratulations.
Yours faithfully,
Mrs. Steve Gentry
Promotion Officer.




Detailed Analysis
This email claims that the recipient has been chosen as the winner of a large cash prize in the UK National Welfare Christmas Lottery. According to the message, the "lucky" recipient has been awarded the sum of 1,000,000.00 GBP to use for his or her "own personal, education and business development". Supposedly, the UK National Lottery Board of trustees organized the promotion as a means of showing appreciation to its customers. The message instructs the recipient to contact the "licensed and accredited agent" in order to claim the prize.

©iStockphoto.com/Paul Fleet

Bogus Internet Lottery Win
Advance fee scammers often send emails that falsely claim the recipient has won a large cash prize in an international lottery draw
However, the email is not from the UK National Lottery or any other legitimate lottery entity. In fact, the message is the initial gambit in a commonly used fraud technique designed to trick Internet users into sending money and sensitive personal information to criminals.

Those who fall for the ruse and contact the bogus "agent" will soon be asked to send upfront fees, ostensibly to allow the release of the prize money to the "winner". The scammers will claim that the prize cannot be released until all these upfront fees are paid in full. They will insist that the fees cannot be deducted from the prize itself because of legal requirements. Lottery scammers typically provide victims with a variety of entirely fictitious reasons why such fees must be paid in advance. They may claim that the payments are required to cover insurance costs, taxes, banking transaction fees, legal fees or other costs. If a victim complies with the scammer's first fee request and sends money, further requests are likely to follow. Of course, the supposed prize does not exist and any money sent will be pocketed by the criminals running the scam. Moreover, during the course of the scam, the victim may inadvertently supply enough private information to allow the scammers to steal his or her identity. Lottery scammers typically trick victims into supplying their personal and financial details by claiming that such information is required before the prize money can be released.

In order to make their lies sound more legitimate, advance fee scammers often misuse the names - and sometimes the logos and trademarks - of genuine organizations. In this case, they attempt to fool victims into believing that their scam messages originate with the UK based National Lottery. In reality, these scam emails have nothing whatsoever to do with the National Lottery. The National Lottery is a perfectly legitimate organization that has operated lotteries in the UK for a number of years. The National Lottery has been regularly targeted by lottery scammers. In response to these attacks, it has published information warning customers about such fraudulent activities.

Scam emails can often be identified by poor or unusual spelling and grammar. And even small details that appear anomalous or incongruous in their given context can also be indications that things are not what they seem. For example, the contact email address supplied in this scam email is Chinese (.cn). It is difficult to imagine why a representative of a UK based lottery would use a Chinese email address.

Users should be very cautious of any email or SMS message that claims that they have won a prize in a lottery or promotion that they have never actually entered. While some promotions may allow participants to enter without purchasing a ticket, some form of specific registration or entry will always be required. Any message that claims that your name or email address has been randomly selected even though you have never bought a ticket or submitted an entry in the supposed promotion should be treated with suspicion. If you receive such a message, do not reply to the sender. Do not send any money or supply any personal information. Do not follow any links or open any attachments in such scam messages as they may attempt to install malware on your computer.

Read more about advance fee lottery scams

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References
The National Lottery
National Lottery - Common lottery scams
UK National Lottery Scams
SMS Advance Fee Prize Scam
Email Lottery Scams - International Lottery Scam Information

Last updated: 27th December 2009
First published: 27th December 2009
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


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