Home ScamsAdvance Fee Scams Microsoft Easter Promotion Lottery Scam

Microsoft Easter Promotion Lottery Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

According to this message, your email address has emerged as a winner of the Microsoft Easter Promotion and you have therefore been awarded a cash prize of £950,000.

Supposedly, the promotion is operated by the UK division of Microsoft along with an organization called the ‘foundation for the promotion of software products’.

The ‘winning notification’ arrives as a rather garishly rendered PDF email attachment that features the Microsoft logo along with images depicting senior management staff at Microsoft UK.

To file a claim for your unexpected windfall, you are urged to contact your Microsoft GB Manager within 29 working days. The message warns that if the prize is not validated within this time, it will be considered unclaimed funds and will therefore be ‘liquidated by the Microsoft Promotion Company’.

It also advises you not to tell others about your win until after you have claimed the money to avoid disqualification due to double claims.

But, alas, you have won nary a penny. There is no prize and Microsoft did not send the notification. In fact, the message is a typical advance fee lottery scam designed to separate you from your money and personal information.

If you replied to the ‘manager’ to claim your prize as instructed, you would soon be asked to send money, ostensibly to allow the claim to be processed. The scammer would explain that this money is required to cover unavoidable expenses such as tax fees, banking charges, and insurance costs. Citing legal reasons, the scammer will insist that these fees must be paid in advance and cannot be deducted from the prize itself.

If you send the money, further requests for money will likely follow. Requests will continue until you run out of money to send or realize that you are being scammed. At the end of the con, the scammer will disappear with your money.

And, the scammer may have also insisted that you provide a large amount of your personal and financial information, supposedly to verify your identity so that your prize claim can be finalized. This information may later be used to steal your identity.

By warning people not to tell anyone about the supposed win, the scammers make it less likely that a more knowledgeable friend will give the game away and alert you that skulduggery is afoot.

Advance fee lottery scams like this one are very common and have been stealing money and information from victims all around the world for decades.

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

Example

Dear esteemed winner, Please find attached file confirming your email address as one of Microsoft Easter winners for 2015 annual promotion. Sincerely. Owen Sagness General Manager, Online Division, UK Text of attahced .pdfMICROSOFT® CORPORATIONS MICROSOFT EASTER PROMOTION.

It is obvious that this notification will come to you as a surprise but please find time to read it carefully as we congratulate you over your success in the following official publication of results of the E-mail electronic online Sweepstakes 2014/2015 organized by Microsoft, in conjunction with the foundation for the promotion of software products, (F.S.P) held this 2015,in the Microsoft Head Quarters London United Kingdom, where your email address emerged as one of the online Winning emails in the 3rd category and therefore attracted a cash award of £950,000.00 (Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling) Our winners are arranged into four categories with different winning prizes accordingly in each category.

They are arranged in this format below:
CATEGORY OF MICROSOFT WINNERS;
1st. £3.500.000.00 GBP
2nd. £2.100.000.00 GBP
3rd. £950,000.00 GBP
4th. £570,000.00 GBP
We write to officially notify you of this award and to advise you to contact the processing office immediately upon receipt of this message for more information concerning the verification, processing and eventual payment of the above prize to you. It is important to note that your award information was released with the following particulars attached to it.

(1). Award Numbers: UK/56/2015
(2). Email Bonus Numbers: MSLP-134632
(3). Batch Numbers: MSOFT/884/8PDH
(4). Reference Numbers: GB/54/044/07/MSOFT
(5). Serial Numbers: MSOFT/2015/NLP4473

Microsoft Verification Requirements
(1). Full Name:
(2). Address:
(3). Nationality/Gender:
(4). Age:
(5). Occupation:
(6). Phone:
(7). Country:
(8). How do you feel as a Microsoft Winner:
(9). Ever Won an Online Award or Bonus:
(10). Winning Email Address:

To file for your claim, Please contact your Microsoft GB Manager for claim of your winning within Twenty-nine working days of this winning notification. Winnings that are not validated within Twenty-nine working days of winning notification are termed void as unclaimed funds will be liquidated by the Microsoft Promotion Company. You are required to mention the above particulars of your award in every correspondence to enable the Manager validate your winnings.

NOTE: (1). To fill the claims processing form if you are not used to pdf files, you print it out and fill it or simply copy the entire notification letter to either Microsoft Word or Notepad for easy access.

(2). Do not tell people about your Price Award until your money is successfully handed over to you to avoid disqualification that may arise from double claim. You may also receive similar e-mails from people portraying to be other Organizations or Microsoft Corporation. This is solely to collect your personal information from you and lay claim over your notification letter that was sent to you by us, Microsoft shall not be held responsible for any loss of fund arising from the above mentioned.

Owen Sagness
General Manager, Online Division, UK
E-mail: microsoftteam123@163.com Telephone:

The Microsoft Internet E-mail lottery Awards is sponsored by our CEO/Chairman, Satya Nadella and a consortium of software promotion companies like Intel Group,Acer,H P,Toshiba,Pisem,Aol, Dell Computers and other International Companies. As Satya Nadella becomes the third CEO of Microsoft, he brings a relentless drive for innovation and a spirit of collaboration to his new role. He joined Microsoft 22 years ago because he saw how clearly Microsoft empowers people to do magical things and ultimately make the world a better place. Many companies, he says, “aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required: talent, resources and perseverance. Microsoft has proven that it has all three in abundance.”

The Microsoft internet E-mail draw is held periodically and is organized to encourage the use of the Internet and promote computer literacy worldwide, Once again on behalf of Staffs & Members of Microsoft GB Board Commission Congratulations.

Sincerely,
Michel Van Der Bel
Managing Director,
Microsoft UK and Vice President, Microsoft International

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