This message, which is distributed via email, claims that you have won £1,992,347 in the “Big Big British National Lotto”. Supposedly, your email address was chosen as a winner via a free ticket draw in a promotion designed to “encourage the use of Microsoft and Internet Programs”.
To claim your unexpected windfall, you are instructed to send your winning ticket number and personal information to the nominated “Fiduciary Agent”.
But, alas, the email is just another advance fee scam designed to steal your money and personal information. You have not won any money, the lotto prize draw does not exist, and the email is not from any legitimate lottery organisation. And, the message has no connection whatsoever with the UK’s National Lottery.
If you contact the bogus agent in the hope of claiming your prize, you will soon be asked to send money to cover various expenses that are supposedly related to your claim. The scammers will insist that you pay these expenses in advance. They will warn that, if you don’t pay, you will forfeit your million pound prize.
If you do comply and send money, the scammers will create more imaginary expenses and again insist that you pay upfront.
After they have stolen as much of your money as they can, the scammers will simply disappear and you will no longer be able to contact them. You are very unlikely to get any of your money back. Nor, of course, will you ever get the promised lotto money, which never existed to begin with.
To make matters even worse, the scammers may manage to steal your identity using the personal and financial information you provided during the course of the scam.
Scams like these have been around for many years and predate the Internet. Nevertheless, they still gain new victims every day.
Be wary of any message that claims that you have won a large prize in a lottery or promotion that you know nothing about and have never entered. Genuine lottery and prize organizations do not choose winners for large cash prizes via the random selection of email addresses. If you receive a message that makes such claims, do not reply or click any links that it contains.