Home ScamsAdvance Fee Scams “Google Anniversary Winning Notification” Advance Fee Scam

“Google Anniversary Winning Notification” Advance Fee Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
Email purporting to be from Google co-founder Larry Page claims that you have won £1,950,000 in the 2016 Google Anniversary promotion.

Brief Analysis:
The email is not from Larry Page or anyone else at Google and you have not won any money. It is a scam designed to trick you into sending your money and personal information to online criminals.

Example:
Belgrave House 76
Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 9TQ
United Kingdom.GOOGLE ANNIVERSARY WINNING NOTIFICATION.

Ref NO: JB/893-0821DQP/D,
Batch: GH838QPV.

We wish to congratulate you once again on this note, for being part of our
winners selected this year 2016.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
active and patronage to the Google search engine. 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
test which your email address won GBP 1,950,000.00 {One million Nine Hundred and Fifty
Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling}.A winning cheque will be issued in
your name by Google Promotion Award Team.

Claims Administrator
Mr.Mark Albert
Email: larry.page@consultant.com
Tel:0092348087967611
Google Promotion Award Team.

You are advised to send your Claims Administrator email

PAYMENT PROCESSING DETAILS/FORM.
(1) Your complete contact address:
(2) Your Tel/Mobile numbers:
(3) Your Nationality/Country:
(4) Your Full Name:
(5) Occupation/Company:
(6) Age/Gender:
(7) Have you ever won an online 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.

Sincerely,
Larry Page,
Google CEO/Chairman



Detailed Analysis:
According to this email, which claims to be direct from Google’s Larry Page, your email address has been selected as the winner of £1,950,000 in the Google Anniversary promotion for 2016.  Supposedly,  the company runs the annual promotion to “encourage the
active users of the Google search engine and the Google ancillary services”.

To claim your unexpected windfall, you are instructed to send some initial personal information to the Claims Administrator via email. The message notes that you are “hereby strongly advised” to keep the win strictly confidential until after you claim your prize.

But, alas, the email is not from Larry Page or anybody else at Google. And, you have not won even a penny, let alone £1,950,000. In fact, the email is a typical advance fee scam designed to trick you into sending your money and your personal and financial information to cybercriminals.

If you fall for the ruse and contact the “Claims Administrator”, you will soon be told that you must send money in advance to cover various – entirely imaginary  – fees that supposedly must be paid before your prize claim can be processed. For example, the scammer may claim that there are legal and banking costs that must be paid up front. Or, he or she may claim that a tax obligation must be met before the prize money can be sent to you. And, the scammer will insist that, because of legal restrictions, the required fees cannot be taken out of the prize itself and must be paid in advance. You will be told that, if you don’t send money to cover the fees, you will forfeit your claim to the prize and it will be given to someone else.

If you do send money, the scammer will then ask you to send even more money to cover other “unexpected” costs supposedly incurred during the claims process. Requests for more and more money will continue until you belatedly realise that you are being scammed or simply run out of money to send. At that point, the scammer will simply disappear with your money. And, of course, given that the prize never existed to begin with,  the promised “winning cheque” will never arrive.

To make matters worse, you may also become a victim of identity theft. During the course of the scam, the criminal may have been able to trick you into providing a large amount of your personal and financial information, ostensibly to prove your identity and allow the allocation of your prize money.  The criminal can then either sell your information to other identity thieves or use it to steal your identity.

By advising recipients not to tell others about their supposed win, the scammer lessens the likelihood that a more astute friend of the victims will warn them that a scam is afoot.

Advance fee scams like this one are very common and very old. In fact, they predate the Internet by many years. Nevertheless, they still gain new victims every day.

Be wary of any message in any format that claims that you have won a large sum of money in a lottery or promotion that you have never even entered.



Google Anniversary Advance Fee Scam Email

Last updated: August 31, 2016
First published: August 31, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Advance Fee Scam – Google 15th Anniversary Awards
Google 10th Anniversary Awards Lottery Scam
Advance Fee 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