According to this email, which is supposedly a Google Anniversary Winning Notification, you have won £950,000 in the Google Promotion for 2018.
The email urges you to contact your “Foreign Transfer Manager” to arrange the release of your prize money.
However, the email is an advance fee scam designed to trick you into sending your money and personal details to criminals. It is not from Google and there is no prize money. In fact, you have won nothing at all.
If you fall for the ruse and contact the “Foreign Transfer Manager” as instructed, you will soon be asked to send money to cover various fees supposedly associated with the processing of your prize claim. Like the prize itself, these fees are imaginary. If you do send money, you will likely be told that you must now send even more money to pay more fictional costs. These requests for money will likely continue until you run out of funds and finally realize that you are being scammed.
At that point, the criminals will simply disappear with your money and you will no longer be able to contact them. And, alas, it is highly unlikely that you will ever get any of your money back. Nor, of course, will you ever get the promised prize money, which never existed in the first place.
Moreover, during the course of the scam, the criminal may have managed to trick you into supplying a large amount of your personal and financial information, ostensibly to allow transfer of your funds and validate your claim. They may later use this information to steal your identity.
Versions of these Google Anniversary lottery scam emails are distributed just about every year. And, advance fee scammers use many other cover stories and pretend to be associated with many other high-profile companies.
Be wary of any message that claims that you have won a large sum of money in a lottery or promotion that you never entered and know nothing about.
An example of the scam email:
HULL, HU6 7RX
Winning No: GOUK/7828/2018
Ticket No: GOUK/7828/2018
Notification: 2018 GOOGLE ANNIVERSARY WINNING NOTIFICATIONWe wish to congratulate you on this note, for being part of our
selected winners in our just concluded internal promotion draw this
year, this promotion was set-up to encourage the active users of the
Google search engine and the Google ancillary services.Hence we do believe with your winning prize, you will continue to be
an active patronage to the
Google search engine and services. Google is now the biggest search
engine worldwide and in an effort to make sure that it remains the
most widely used search engine, we ran an online e-mail beta draw
which your email address won Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great
British Pounds Sterling (£950,000.00). We wish to formally announce to
you that you have successfully passed the requirements, statutory
obligations, verifications, validations and satisfactory report Test
conducted for all online winners.
A winning check will be issued in your name by Google Promotion Award;
for the sum of Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds
Sterling (£950,000.00) and also a certificate of prize claims will be
sent alongside your winning check cashable at any bank.
You are advised to contact your Foreign Transfer Manager with the
following details to avoid unnecessary delay and complications:
VERIFICATION AND FUNDS RELEASE FORM
(1) Your Contact Address/Private Email Address.
(2) Your Tel/Fax Numbers.
(3) Your Nationality/Country.
(4) Your Full Name.
(7) Ever Won An Online Lottery?
Paul Buchheit (Program Coordinator)
Mode of Price Remittance
*Cash Pick-Up (You as the Beneficiary coming down to the United
Kingdom to receive your Award Personally).
*Courier Delivery of your Certified Winning Cheque in your Name and
other Winning Documents safely to you.
The Google Promotion Award Team has discovered a huge number of double
claims due to winners informing close friends relatives and third
parties about their winning and also sharing their pin numbers. As a
result of this, these friends try to claim the lottery on behalf of
the real winners.
The Google Promotion Award Team has reached a decision from its
headquarters that any double claim discovered by the Lottery Board
will result to the canceling of that particular winning, leading to a
loss for both the double claimer and the real winner, as it is taken
that the real winner was the informer to the double claimer about the
lottery. So you are hereby strongly advised once more to keep your
winnings strictly confidential until you claim your prize.
Congratulations from the Staffs & Members of the Google interactive
Lotteries Board Commission.
Co-founder of Google™
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!