Facebook Lottery Scams
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Facebook Promotion, Lottery and Award Scams

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Messages purporting to be from Facebook claim that users have won a large sum of money in a supposed Facebook related promotion, lottery or award.

Brief Analysis

The messages are scams designed to trick users into sending their money and personal information to Internet criminals. There is no such thing as a Facebook Lottery. Any unsolicited message claiming that you have won a large prize in a promotion organized by Facebook should be treated with the utmost suspicion and is almost certainly a scam.

Example

From: [Name removed] [mailto:fbclaimdepartment2@gmail.com]
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS FROM FACEBOOK!CONGRATULATIONS FROM FACEBOOK!So We are pleased to inform you of the result of the NEW YEAR DRAW held on (28th Feb 2017) by Facebook Company in cash Promotion to encourage the usage of Facebook users world wide, your Name and Email was among the 20 Lucky winners who won $600,000:00 USD (Six Hundred Thousand United State
Dollars) each on the Face book promotion Award Attached to Ticket Number (5647600545189), Ref No (2551256002/244) and Serial Number (55643451907).
To avoid unnecessary delays and complications please remember to quote your Ticket, Reference and Batch Numbers in all correspondences.The online draw was Conducted by a random selection of email you where picked by an Advanced automated random computer search from the Facebook in other to claim your $600.000.00 USD the lottery program which is a new innovation by Facebook, His aimed at saying A BIG THANK to you all our users for making Facebook your number one Social Networking to hook up with their families and friends all over the World.
This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants and Scam artists All participants were selected through a computer ballot system with their email addresses and names from all over the world.
Thanks to the FBI and the Software Company corporation to block few individuals web site and email addresses.

You are required to contact our dispatch dept via email (fbclaimdepartment2@gmail.com)

Furthermore, if there is any change in email address please contact us on time.
If you are not interested please do not bother to reply and CONGRATULATIONS ONCE AGAIN FROM FACEBOOK!

Thanks,
[Name Removed]

 

Detailed Analysis

Advance fee scammers often create scam messages claiming to be from high-profile companies such as Coca-Cola, Mercedes, or Microsoft. And, these days, Facebook is often their company of choice.

An increasing number of advance fee scam messages purport to come from Facebook. Typically, the messages claim that the ‘lucky’ recipient has won a large cash prize in a promotion, lottery or award organized and managed by Facebook. Some are quite crude. Others are more sophisticated. A few even claim to come directly from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself.
Some arrive via email. Others may be distributed as private messages from within Facebook itself, often via hijacked or cloned accounts.

Details in the messages may vary. As may the method by which they are distributed. But, all claim that ‘winners’ can collect their unexpected prize by contacting a designated agent or department.

Those who make contact as instructed will soon be asked to pay various upfront fees, ostensibly to cover unavoidable expenses such as bank fees, tax payments, insurance, or delivery costs. The criminals will claim that these fees cannot be deducted from the prize itself for legal reasons or company policy.

Alas, no matter how much money victims send, they will never get the promised prize, which never existed to begin with. And all of the money they send will line the pockets of the greedy criminals running the sting.

And, if victims supply enough personal and financial information during the course of the scam, the criminals may also manage to steal their identities as well as their money.

Users should be very cautious of any email claiming that they have won a large prize in a lottery, promotion or award that they have never even entered. If you receive such a message, do not reply. And do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains. The best way to deal with these scam messages is simply to hit the delete button.


Importance Notice

After 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 You

I 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 Date

Hoax-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!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer