Email claiming to be from The National Lottery in the UK announces that you have won £810,000 via the ‘UK international Online Lottery Award’ and should contact the fiduciary agent to claim your prize.
The National Lottery did not send the email. You have not won any money. The email is a scam designed to trick you into sending your money and personal information to Internet criminals.
According to this email, which purports to be from The National Lottery, you have won £810,000 in the ‘UK international Online Lottery Award’ . The email claims that your email address was attached to a computer generated ticket number and you have therefore won the UK Lottery’s 2nd category prize. It instructs you to email your personal details to the Fiduciary Claim agent Mr Eric Boyd to ‘commence the release of your lottery prize’. The message is supposedly signed by the lottery’s online coordinator and features The National Lottery logo.
The National Lottery is a real UK based lottery organisation. However, it did not send this email and the claim that you have won a prize in the lottery is untrue. The email is a typical advance fee scam designed to trick you into sending your money and personal information to criminals.
If you reply to ‘Eric Boyd’ as instructed, you will soon be told that you must send money to cover expenses supposedly related to the processing of your prize claim. You will be told that this money must be paid in advance and cannot be taken out of the prize itself. You will be warned that, if you do not send money to cover all of the required fees, you will never receive your lottery prize. ‘Eric’ will claim that your money is needed to pay banking and delivery fees, tax fees, insurance fees, legal fees, and a host of other – totally imaginary – expenses. Of course, all of the money you send will go straight into the coffers of the criminals running the scam and you will never see a cent of it again. Still using the, non-existent, £810,000 as bait, ‘Eric’ will continue asking you to send money until you run out of funds or finally realise that you are being conned.
Moreover, during the course of the scam, you may have been asked to provide a considerable amount of your personal an financial information, ostensibly to prove your identity and allow transfer of your prize money. The scammers may later use this accumulated information to steal your identity.
Because The National Lottery is well-known even outside of the UK, criminals often use its name and logos in their scam messages. I first wrote about such National Lottery scams more than a decade ago and I’ve revisited the topic several times since. Despite a lot of publicity about advance fee lottery scams like this one, they continue to find new victims every day.
The National Lottery has information about these scam attempts on its website.
Last updated: March 16, 2016
First published: March 16, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen