According to an email that is currently hitting inboxes, Georgia Powerball jackpot lottery winners William and Heather ten Broeke are donating $280,000 and a Microsoft Surface Pro laptop to five individuals around the world. And, claims the message, you have been selected as one of the lucky recipients.
The email prompts you to reply with your personal information to claim your prize. Supposedly, as soon as they receive your reply, William and Heather will write you a cheque for $280,000 and send it to you along with the promised laptop.
Email is Not From William and Heather ten Broeke — Advance Fee Scam
William and Heather ten Broeke did win a very large lottery in September 2016. But they did not send this email, and you are not about to receive any money – or even a laptop – from the couple.
In fact, the email is an advance fee scam designed to trick you into sending your money and personal information to criminals.
If you reply, you will soon receive requests for upfront payments. The criminals will continue to pose as William and Heather. They will claim that the payments are required to cover various fees associated with the delivery of your donation and laptop. They will insist that these fees must be paid in advance for legal reasons and cannot be paid from the supposed donation.
If you do send money, more and more payment requests will likely follow. The demands will continue until you run out of money to send or at last realise that you are being scammed.
Criminals Will Steal Your Money and Personal Information
At the end of the scam, the criminals will simply disappear with your money and you will never hear from them again. And, of course, you will never receive the promised $280,000.
Moreover, during the scam, the criminals may have been able to trick you into sending them large amounts of your personal and financial information, ostensibly to identify you as the winner and allow processing of your donation. Thus, the criminals may be able to steal your identity as well as your money.
A Common Scammer Ploy
Such messages are a common criminal ruse. The names of lottery winners are regularly used in advance fee scams because they can make the absurd claims of the scammers seem just a little more plausible, at least to some, more naive, recipients.
People who win large lottery prizes often do give sizable portions of their winnings to charity or to help those less fortunate. However, it is vastly unlikely that any lottery winner would ever give away hundreds of thousands of dollars to strangers randomly selected online via their email address. We can safely put that idea in the “never going to happen” basket. So, any message that makes such a claim should be treated with the utmost suspicion.
An example of the scam email:
From William and Heather ten Broeke family
Thank you for directing your response to us, how are you today? Our names are William and Heather ten Broeke from Georgia. We are parent of one blessed child and we won the Georgia Powerball jackpot lottery of $246,764,131 million on September 17, 2016 after which we were given the total of $165,613,511 before taxes.
For more information please click-here
I and my entire family are happy and we decided to do the will of God by donating part of our winning amount to help some people and some charitable organisation.
We are a firm believer of God and also a tither to our church. We have already donated some amount to some charitable organisations and we want to also use this medium to donate $280,000.00 each to 5 lucky individuals around the world with a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Laptop. You are receiving this message, because your email was one of those that has been selected for this donation and we believed you might have hoped for something amazing like this maybe that is the reason your email was picked from our personal ballot system, congratulation to you.
We are not doing this to gain fame and as a matter of fact we are currently in INDIA, we decided to stay away from home for some period due to the news we heard about some previous lottery winners and their families that have been attacked by gun men after their winning. We believed that our family were chosen by God to win this lottery for good reasons and we also believed we are doing the right thing by donating to you. We may not know you, but we believed if you were chosen by God to receive our donation of $280,000.00 and a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Laptop, you must be a lucky individual.
We are a God-fearing people and we believed God will always remember you no matter the circumstance you are into, just like the saying to whom much is given much is expected. We would like you to know that, we cannot satisfy everyone and we cannot put food on so many tables but we believe from the little we have given out many will benefit from it. We would like our donation to be utilised on an investment that will be blessing to others, invest in something that will create job opportunities and put smile on the faces of those who have forgotten how joy feels like. So be sure you make the best of it, because this is the only true way you can really show us your appreciation.
We need you to write back to us and let us know if you can utilise our donation funds which we are about to give you in a safe way. Please keep this confidentially for security reasons until you receive your full donation, because we do not want the paparazzi to bother us anymore. Ever since we won the lottery our lives have not be the same no more privacy and we hate that, so do us a favor and keep this donation secretly.
PLEASE FILL IN YOUR CORRECT INFORMATION FOR PROCESSING AND NOTARIZATION
Please note that you must be above 18 to receive this donation. As soon as we receive the requested information, we would write you a check of $280,000.00 and we would attached it with a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Laptop so that it could be courier to your home address. We are hoping that you will be able to use the money economically wise and judiciously over there in your locality. May the Good Lord bless your heart to be a blessing to your family and to your society as soon as our donation get to you.
William and Heather ten Broeke family.