Email purporting to be from car maker BMW claims that you have won a BMW 7 Series car, $500000, and an Apple laptop in the BMW Lottery.
In fact, you have won nothing at all. The email is not from BMW and there is no BMW Lottery. The message is a typical advance fee prize scam designed to trick recipients into sending money and personal information to fraudsters.
From: THE BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
Subject: ATTENTION: DEAR 2015/2016 BMW WINNERBMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
5070 WILSHIRE BLVD
LOS ANGELES. CA 90036
NEIGHORHOOD: MID WILSHIRE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.Dear BMW Enthusiast,This is to inform you that you have been selected for a prize of a brand new 2015/2016 Model BMW 7 Series Car, Cash prize Certified Check of 500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) and a Apple Laptop from the international balloting programs held on the 2nd section in the UNITED STATE OF AMERICA.Description of prize vehicle;
Color (exterior): Metallic Silver
Transmission: Automatic 6 Speed
Options: Cold weather package, premium package, fold down rear seats w/ski bag, am fm stereo with single in dash compact disc player .
The selection process was carried out through random selection in our computerized email selection ballot system from a database of over 250,000 email addresses drawn from all the continents of the world which yours and nine others were selected as the winners.
The BMW Lottery is approved by the British Gaming Board and also Licensed by the the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR). This promotional lottery is the 3rd of its kind and we intend to sensitize the public. To begin the processing of your prize you are to contact our fiduciary claims department for more information as regards procedures to claim your prize.
FIDUCIARY CLAIMS AGENT.
Name: Mr. Can Garcia
Contact him by providing him with your secret pin code BMW:6743222009/FQ13. As the subject of your email for swift response and you are also advised to provide him with the under listed information as soon as possible for your claim:
* Name in full.
* Fax #.
* Present Country.
* Email address.
* Batch Number BMW:6743222009/FQ13
THE DIRECTOR PROMOTIONS
BMW LOTTERY DEPARTMENT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
This message, which purports to be from luxury car maker BMW, claims that you have won $500,000 as well as an expensive BMW Series 7 car and an Apple laptop thrown in for good measure . The message claims that your email address was selected as the winner of the BMW Lottery via an “international balloting program”.
The messages urges to contact the “Fiduciary Claims Agent” via email to claim the prize.
But alas, you have, in fact, won nary a cent and not so much as a tricycle, let alone a luxury motor vehicle. And the email was not sent by BMW or any of its affiliates. Instead, the email is a typical advance fee prize scam designed to trick recipients into sending money and personal information to criminals.
Those who fall for the trick and contact the “agent” will soon be asked to send various fees that are supposedly required to allow processing of the prize claim. The scammers will claim that the “winner” must send money to pay for expenses such as insurance, legal and banking fees, or taxes. They will insist that the fees must be paid in advance and cannot be deducted from the prize money. Of course, the prize does not even exist. The promise of the prize is just the bait used to trick people into sending their money and information.
Victims will be instructed to send the requested funds via a wire transfer services such as Western Union. Requests for more and more up front fees are likely to continue until the victim finally realises that he or she is being scammed or simply runs out of available funds. Moreover, during the course of the scam, the criminals may have tricked their victims into divulging a significant amount of personal and financial information, ostensibly to prove their identity for claim processing. Thus, the scammers may be able to steal the identities of their victims as well as steal their money.
Advance fee prize scams such as this are very common and have been around in various forms for decades. Before the Internet, scammers would send out such scam messages via surface mail. Despite widespread publicity about such scams over many years, people continue to fall victim to them every day.
Last updated: February 3, 2017
First published: May 1, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen