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‘National Lottery’ Scam Emails Continue Hitting Inboxes

by Brett M. Christensen

This story was first published on December 20, 2006

Outline

Emails supposedly from the UK National Lottery claim that you have won a large sum of money and must supply personal information to the “agent” in charge of the prize. 

Brief Analysis

The emails are not from the UK National Lottery as claimed and you have not won a prize. The messages are advance fee scams designed to trick people into sending their money and personal information to Internet criminals.

Examples

NATIONAL LOTTERY INC.
Date: 20 January 2019Subject: WINNING NOTIFICATION – NATIONAL LOTTERY INC.
We are delighted to inform you of the result of the E-mail address
ballot lottery draw of the cash-out lotto by international programme,
which took place on the 20th of January 2019.
This is a computer generated lottery of Internet users using email addresses for draws.This lotto draw is fully based on an electronic selection of winners using their
e-mail addresses from different World Wide Web (www) sites.Email address [removed] attached to ticket number: 275-189-657-23-05 with
serial number 8756-05 drew the lucky numbers and bonus ball number
which subsequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category.You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of US$18,000.00
(EIGHTEEN THOUSAND U.S DOLLARS)
in cash credit file ref:ILP/HW 47509/02.Please click here to confirm your payment and arrangement immediate transfer of your winnings.

If you have any questions regarding the prize draw or your winnings, please contact us here.

Kind regards,

[Name Removed]

Chief Representative

 

UK National Lottery Scam email

 

National Lottery Logo Stolen
Stolen Lotto LogoGOVERNMENT ACCREDITED LICENSED!!!
The National Lottery
LOndon, Uk.
Ref: UK/9420X2/68
Batch: 074/05/ZY369

WINNING NOTIFICATION:

We happily announce to you the draw (1117) of the UK NATIONAL LOTTERY,online Sweepstakes International program held on Monday,18th december,2006 in London, UNITED-KINGDOM. You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of£558,077( FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY EIGHT THOUSAND, SEVENTY SEVEN POUNDS STERLINGS) incash,credited to file ktu/9023118308/03. This is from a total cash prize of £ 3. 4 Million pounds, shared amongst the first Four (4) lucky winners in this category.

All participants for this online version were selected randomly from World Wide Web sites through computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000 unions, associations, and corporate bodies that are listed online. To begin your claims,attached here is the claim Verification form, which you are expected to fill and submit back to your fiduciary agent immediately via e-mail.

Hope to have informed you correctly.

MR petterson walker
FIDUCIARY AGENT.
EMAIL: agent_pettersonwalker83@yahoo.com
info_pettersonwalker84@yahoo.com
(Form HLP)
REFERENCE NUMBER: UK/9420X2/68
FULL NAME..
COMPANY NAME: ..
FULL ADDRESS:.
SEX:..
AGE.
OCCUPATION.
TEL….
COUNTRY.
E-MAIL.
INDICATE PREFERRED MODE OF PRIZE COLLECTION:
(A) CHEQUE
(B) DRAFT
Date.
Signature.

Congratulations once again from all members and staff of this program. Thank you for being part of our promotional lottery programs.

Yours faithfully,
Richard .K. Lloyd.
Online coordinator for UK NATIONAL LOTTERY

 

Detailed Analysis

A favourite trick of lottery scammers is to try to add a patina of legitimacy to their fraudulent activities by naming genuine organizations in their scam messages. For example, they may claim in their scam messages that a high profile company such as Microsoft, Coca Cola, or Honda has sponsored the prize on offer. Of course, these supposed endorsements are used without the permission or knowledge of the named companies. Unfortunately, such fake endorsements are often enough to convince gullible recipients that the “lottery prize” is genuine.

A common and effective deployment of this method is to claim that the “Winning Notification” email is from a genuine lottery organization. Often, the scammers will use the same, or a very similar, name to that of a real lottery. Even if the recipient is at first a little leery, he or she may be convinced that the claims in the scam email are genuine after conducting a web search on the name of the lottery and discovering the legitimate lottery website. The genuine lottery website is likely to be professionally presented and may even be operated by an official government organization. The potential victim may erroneously believe that, by independently searching for and discovering the genuine website, he or she has effectively confirmed the information in the message. Thus, the illusion of legitimacy that the scammers try to create is significantly enhanced and another innocent Internet user may be victimized. 
One real lottery that is almost continually targeted by lottery scammers is The National Lottery in the UK. There are dozens of variations of these scam messages, all claiming that the recipient has won money in the UK National Lottery. As discussed above, people who come across the real National Lottery website may be convinced that the scam message they received is genuine. Those with prior knowledge of the National Lottery may also be more likely to fall for the scam. The National Lottery has posted information about these scams on its website.

The aim of these scam emails is generally to persuade the victim that it is necessary to pay upfront fees before the “winnings” can be released. In reality, there are no winnings and any fees that victims part with go directly into the pockets of the criminals running the scam. Also, over the course of their correspondence with a victim, the scammers may accumulate a significant amount of the victim’s personal information. The scammers may eventually accumulate enough information to steal the victim’s identity.

Typically, lottery scam messages claim that your name or email address has been “randomly selected” to win. However, legitimate lotteries do not operate in this way. In almost all cases, you can only win if you have actually bought a ticket. Even free, advertising supported, lottery systems will generally require you to register and specifically enter a draw.

In short, do not trust any unsolicited email that claims that you have been randomly selected to win a large sum of money, even if the lottery named in the message is real.

There are a great many variations of the basic lottery scam described here. To read more information about lottery scams and view many more examples, see:

Email Lottery Scams – International Lottery Scam Information



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