According to this message, your email address has won £1 million courtesy of the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee and the Microsoft-Euro Online Lottery Award Team.
Supposedly, your email address was randomly chosen as the winner from a pool of 500,000 email addresses via “e-sorting balloting”. The message urges you to contact your “fund processing manager” to arrange the release of your prize money.
But, alas, the email has no connection whatsoever to either FIFA or Microsoft and you have not won so much as a penny, let alone £1 million.
Instead, the email is an advance fee scam designed to steal your money and your personal information. If you contact your “fund processing manager” as instructed, you will soon be asked to send money to cover various imaginary processing fees invented by the scammers.
The scammers will continue to ask for more and more money until you realise that you are being conned and stop responding to them. At the end of the scam, the criminals will disappear with all of the money you sent.
As the scam played out, the criminals may also have been able to trick you into sending them a lot of your personal and financial information. They may later use this information to steal your identity.
Be wary of any message that claims that you have won a large sum of money in a lottery or promotion that you know nothing about and did not enter. No organization or company is ever likely to give away millions of dollars or pounds to strangers randomly selected over the Internet. Any message that makes such a claim is very likely to be a scam.
An example of the scam message:
Subject: FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA 2018
KINDLY DOWNLOAD ATTACHMENT
(Screenshot of attached PDF)
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!