According to a text message that has been blasted out to mobile phone users in recent days, the recipient has been selected as the winner of £1750000 in a prize draw called “Coke Promo”.
Recipients are urged to follow a link to claim their prize or contact a helpline email address.
But, alas, the SMS is just another advance fee scam. You have not won any money and the message has no connection whatsoever to Coke or any other legitimate entity.
If you go to the website or respond via email, you will be asked to provide your name and contact details in order to begin processing your prize claim.
Soon after you submit your information, you will be contacted by a criminal posing as a prize agent. You will be told that, before receiving your prize, you must send money to cover various fees such as banking charges, taxation, or insurance costs.
If you do send the requested funds, more and more requests for money will likely follow.
After you finally realise that you are being conned or run out of money to send, the scammers will disappear with your money and you won’t here from them again. And, of course, you will never receive the promised prize money, which never existed to begin with.
Moreover, the scammers may have tricked you into supplying a large amount of your personal and financial information during the course of the scam. Armed with this information, they may steal your identity as well as your money.
Advance fee prize scams like this continue to be very common. Criminals distribute them via email, social media messages, and surface letters as well as via SMS.
If you receive one of these scam messages, do not respond. Any message in any format that claims that you have won a large sum of money or a valuable prize in a promotion that you have never entered is likely to be a scam.
An example of the scam text message:
Alert!:Your Mobile No is Selected as winner of £1750000 on Coke Promo. Go to www.[link removed].net to claim. enter Ref: AU66725372 .helpline: info@[link removed]
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!