Email purporting to be from Facebook claims that you have won $950,000 in the Facebook Online International Lottery for 2016 and should contact the Facebook “claims officer” to process your prize.
The email is not from Facebook and you have won nothing at all. The message is a typical advance fee scam designed to trick you into sending your money and personal information to Internet criminals.
FROM: THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT.
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD.
BATCH NUMBER: FB-0281/544
SERIAL NUMBER: 99352748-2016
TICKET NUMBER: FB-172-60
CATEGORY: 2NDThe Entire Facebook team are very happy to inform you that your name appear on the FACEBOOK ONLINE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY and we are giving out the total sum of US$950,000.00 (Nine HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND UNITED STATE DOLLARS) which is what you have just won.Your name was selected in a raffle that was made for the FACEBOOK ONLINE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY for the year 2016 with the lucky number (FB-225-7736) so we need your fast response so that we can proceed with the claim process of your winnings.
Your name was selected by Mr Mark Zuckerberg the CEO of Facebook (Founder & amp Chief Executive Officer ) through a randon select draw.
Kindly contact Mr. Thomas Charlse the General secretary of the FACEBOOK TEAM and appointed as your claims officer via this email (firstname.lastname@example.org) immediately with the following information about you below:
Private Mobile Number:
As soon as he gets your email with all the information stated above he will tell you on what next to do as regards the claiming and receiving of your winnings of US$950,000.00.
Thank you and More Congratulations.
Agent Name: Thomas Charlse for CDAA
Get some Zero paid Gear FBI SCAM PROTECTED
Note: For security reasons and due to the mix-up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep this notification strictly from public notice until your claim has been processed and your money remitted. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unscrupulous acts by non-participants of this program. BE WARNED”
Advance fee lottery scams have been around for decades and still continue to find new victims all around the world every day. To make their lies seem more legitimate, scammers have regularly used the names of high profile companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo and Google in their fraudulent messages. And, an increasing number of such scam messages pretend to come from Facebook.
Many are quite crude. Others are considerably more sophisticated and may include seemingly official Facebook graphics and formatting to falsely enhance their credibility. Some even claim to come directly from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg himself.
The version discussed here is typical of its ilk. The email claims that you have won $950,000 in the “Facebook Online International Lottery” for 2016. Supposedly, your email address was randomly chosen – by Mark Zuckerburg himself no less – as a winning entry.
The email urges you to contact your appointed claims officer Mr. Thomas Charlse, the “general secretary of the Facebook Team”, to begin the processing of your prize claim.
But, of course, the claims in the email are outright lies. The message is not from Facebook and you have not won so much as a cent, let alone $950,000.00.
Those who are taken in by the lies and contact the “claims officer ” as instructed will be informed that they must pay various fees before their “winnings” can be transferred to them. The criminals will explain that, for legal reasons, none of the required fees can be deducted from the prize itself and must be payed in advance. Victims will be told that the fees are required to cover taxes, insurance payments, banking fees and a raft of other – entirely imaginary – costs invented by the scammers. Requests for further fees are likely to continue until the victim runs out of available funds or finally realises that the set up is a scam. All the money sent will be pocketed by the scammers.
Moreover, the criminals are likely to trick their victim into providing a large amount of personal and financial information, ostensibly as a means of proving his or her identity and allowing transfer of the “prize”. This information might later be used to steal the identity of the victim.
Why, you might ask, do such scams still take place, even after decades of exposure? The simple answer is “because they work”. There are apparently still many people that are not aware of how these and other scams operate and are naive enough to fall for them. During a particular campaign, the scammers may spam out hundreds of thousands of identical scam messages. In reality, even if only a tiny percentage of recipients actually fall for the ruse and send their money and information, the campaign will pay off handsomely for the criminals running it.
Last updated: November 4, 2016
First published: October 24, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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