Home ScamsAdvance Fee Scams Google ‘Email Electronics Sweepstakes’ Advance Fee Scam

Google ‘Email Electronics Sweepstakes’ Advance Fee Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this ‘official notification’ message that claims to be from Google UK, you have won £950,000 in the ‘Email Electronics Sweepstakes’, a lottery organized by Google in conjunction with the ‘Foundation for the Promotion of Software Products’.

To claim your windfall, you are advised to complete a ‘mandatory foreign payment release form’ by sending your personal information to the ‘Foreign Payment Bureau Consultant’.

The notification is in PDF format and comes complete with Google logos and even a supposed signature from Google CEO Larry Page.

However, the message is certainly not from Google and the claim that you have won a prize is a lie. In fact, the message is a typical advance fee scam designed to steal your money and personal information.
If you contact the ‘consultant’ with your details as instructed, you will soon receive requests for various upfront fees supposedly required to process your prize claim. The criminals running the scam will claim that the requested fees are to cover insurance, banking, tax, and other – completely imaginary – expenses. The scammers will insist that all the requested fees are payed in advance and cannot be deducted from the ‘prize’ itself.

Of course, the criminals will pocket all of the money sent and disappear. And, during the course of the scam, the criminals may have tricked you into divulging a large amount of your personal information. They may subsequently use this information to steal your identity.

Advance fee scams like this one are very common. To make their spurious claims seem more legitimate, the scammers often pretend to be associated with high-profile companies such as Google or Microsoft.

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

Example

Subject: Official Letter.

Dear Google User.

You have been selected as a winner for using Google services,attached to this email is Our Official Notification Letter for your perusal.

Sincerely.
Mr. Matt Brittin
CEO of Google Ltd UK.

Screenshot of attached PDF

Google Advance Fee Scam Email


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