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ADVANCE FEE SCAM - 'Web Awards 2014' Notification Email


Email claims that you have won three million US dollars in the 2014 Web industry award scheme.

Brief Analysis

Alas, you have won nothing at all. The email is a typical advance fee scam designed to trick you into sending your money and sensitive personal information to an online criminal.


Subject: Web Awards 2014
Dear Beneficiary.
This is to notify you of your email enlistment as a beneficiary of a recent inheritance fund of ($3,000. 000.00) Three Million United States Dollars from Web industry award schemes to the online internet users
The web industry represents the interests of internet and computer user worldwide sponsored by the global industry, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies.
Important Notes:
Microsoft Wallet allows various internet users clicking into many websites which gives you the enlisted beneficiary total sum $3,000.000.00 as referenced above to claim.
In addition to that, you should provide us with the following details to commence your payment immediately.
1. Full name
2. Phone and fax number
3. Address
4. Occupation
5. Attach copy of your identification
6. Beneficiary next of kin.
7. Marital Status
This arrangement will meet your expectations, we will therefore request for your expedited response.
Your response should be directed (Ms. Linda David).email:
Mr. Abdul Rafi.
Thank You.


Detailed Analysis

Email Claims You Have Won $3 Million in 'Web Awards'

According to this email, you have been nominated as the beneficiary of three million US dollars via the 2014 Web industry award scheme.

The email, which includes details about the supposed award in an attached Microsoft Word document, instructs you to make contact via a specified email address to start the claim process.

The message asks you to provide personal information - including a copy of an identification document - as the first step in claiming your prize.

Message is an Advance Fee Scam - You Have Won Nothing

However, the message is a typical advance fee scam and you have not been awarded any money at all.

If you send your details as instructed, you will soon receive a reply claiming that you must pay various upfront fees before your award claim can be processed. The scammer will claim that the fees are required to pay insurance, banking, taxation and various other - entirely imaginary - expenses.

The scammer will claim that you must pay these fees in full and in advance or you will forfeit your 'prize'. And, the scammer will insist that the fees cannot be paid out of the award itself for legal or administration reasons.

Once you have paid the first set of fees, further requests for yet more imaginary expenses will likely follow. Requests will continue until you run out of money or realize that you are being scammed.

And, during the course of the scam, the criminal may trick you into sending more and more personal and financial information along with further ID documents. This information may later be used to steal your identity.

Advance Fee Lottery Scams Still Very Common

Despite much exposure, advance fee lottery scams like this continue to gain new victims every day. Such scams have been around in various forms for decades and predate the Internet. Criminalsnow use social media as well as email to trawl for potential victims.

Be wary of any email or social media message that claims that you have been awarded a large sum of money in a lottery or online promotion that you have never even entered. Genuine lotteries and promotions do not operate in this way.

If you receive such as scam message, just delete it.

© Gajus-Images

Last updated: August 25, 2014
First published: August 25, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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