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Scam Email Pretends to be From Lottery Winners Bill And Andrea Groner

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Email purporting to be from Canadian lottery winners Bill And Andrea Groner claims that the couple are giving you 1 million dollars as part of a charity project.

Brief Analysis

The email is a scam designed to trick you into sending money and personal information to Internet criminals. Bill and Andrea Groner are real people and they did win a large lottery prize. However, they did not send this email and they are not randomly giving away millions of dollars to strangers as claimed.

Example

From: Bill And Andrea Groner
Subject: Charity Donation
Dear (email address removed)
I saw your email address during the course of my  research today. My name is Bill William Groner my wife and I won a Jackpot Lottery of $50 Million Dollars in December 2013, we are donating the sum of $1 million Dollars to 6 lucky individual all over the world as part of our charity project and if you received this email then you are one of the luck recipients and all you have to do is get back to us with your details so we can forward it directly to the payout bank. Please note that you have to contact us via our private email for more information  (2987708238@qq.com)
You can verify this by visiting the web pages below.
https://ca.news.yahoo.com/keep-secret-edmonton-couple-reveals-50m-lotto-win-200041218.html
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2014/07/21/21823476.html
Good luck,

Bill And Andrea Groner

 

Detailed Analysis

‘Bill And Andrea Groner’ Email Claims You Have Been Awarded $1 Million

People all around the world have reported receiving an email claiming to be from Canadian lottery winners Bill And Andrea Groner. The email announces that you have been selected as one of six lucky people that the couple has chosen as recipients of $1 million each.

Supposedly, the couple decided to donate the money from their $50 million lottery prize as part of a ‘charity project’ and chose 6 email addresses as the ‘winners’.

Email is a Scam – Not From Bill And Andrea Groner

Alas, you are not set to receive $1 million as claimed. Bill And Andrea Groner did win $50 million via an Alberta, Canada lottery drawn in December 2014. The couple kept quiet about their win for 7 months before finally coming forward to claim their prize. They have told media outlets that they are intending to use some of their winnings to help family, friends and charities.

However, this email is not from the couple and they are not randomly giving away millions of dollars as claimed.

In fact, the email is a typical advance fee scam designed to trick you into sending your money and personal information to cybercrooks. If you reply as instructed in the hope of claiming the promised 1 million dollars, you will soon be told that you must first send various upfront payments. The scammers – still posing as Bill And Andrea Groner – will claim that the requested payments are required to cover insurance costs, banking fees, tax, and various other imaginary expenses. They will insist that these fees cannot be deducted from the main fund for legal reasons.

The scammers may also ask you to provide a large amount of personal and financial information, ostensibly so that they can process the claim and award you the promised funds.

But, of course, all of the money sent will stay in the pockets of the criminals and you are very unlikely to get any of it back. Moreover, the scammers may harvest enough of your personal information to allow them to steal your identity.

Several Versions of the Scam are Being Distributed

Since details of the win have been made public, several versions of the above scam email have been sent out. All claim that the couple are randomly giving away large sums to people they have selected online via their name or email address. All are advance fee scams as described above.

Scammers Often Pose as Lottery Winners To Gain Victims

This is certainly not the first time that criminals have pretended to be lottery winners as a means of tricking people into sending them money and personal information.

In fact, almost every time a large lottery win is announced, criminals send out scam emails pretending to be from the winners.

And lottery scammers use many other cover stories to achieve the same ends. Be wary of any email, social media message, or SMS that claims that you have won a large prize in a lottery or promotion that you have never even entered.

Such scams are very common and continue to gain new victims every day.



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