This email, which purports to be from Google CEO Sundar Pichai, claims that you have won £950,000, a laptop, and other prizes in a Google ‘Award Promotion’.
It instructs you to contact Google’s “online verification manager” to get more “informations” about your supposed win. A seemingly official Google document attached to the email contains further details about the win and explains that you will need to submit a Mandatory Foreign Payment Release Form before getting your cash and prizes.
But, in fact, Sundar Pichai did not send the email, and it has no connection to Google whatsoever. And, alas, you have not won any money or prizes.
The email is a typical advance fee lottery scam designed to trick you into sending your money and personal information to online criminals.
If you submit your form as instructed, you will soon receive a reply claiming that you are required to send money to cover various expenses supposedly associated with the processing of your prize. But, any funds that you send will be kept by the scammers, who will disappear after they have taken as much of your money as they can.
You may also become a victim of identity theft since the scammers will likely demand that you send them a large amount of your personal and financial information.
And, of course, you will never receive the promised money and prizes, which never existed to begin with.
Advance fee scams like this are very common and take many forms.
An example of the scam email:
Subject: AWARD PROMOTION BY GOOGLE!!!
Dear Google User,
You have been rewarded by Google Inc, kindly get in contact with our Online verification manager for more informations.
Chief Executive Officer,
A screenshot of the attached scam document: