According to this message, your email address has been randomly selected to receive a donation of 5.3 million British pounds courtesy of EuroMillions lottery winners Richard and Angela Maxwell.
Supposedly, the Maxwells have decided to give 10% of their winnings to an individual they have never met as part of their own charity project. And, the couple chose you as the recipient after Google conducted a “computer spin-ball” that selected your email address.
The email includes attachments supposedly depicting screenshots of the couple’s passports in an effort to prove that the offer is “%100 legitimate”.
To claim your donation, you are instructed to reply with your name, age, and address details.
But, alas, the email is just another advance fee scam.
Email is Not From Richard and Angela Maxwell
Richard and Angela Maxwell really did win a very large lottery prize – £53m – via a EuroMillions jackpot in April 2015. However, the couple did not send this email and they are not giving away millions of pounds to strangers randomly selected via the Internet.
The passport screenshots are, of course, fake.
Scammers Try To Steal Your Money and Identity
If you believed the claims in the message and reply to claim your ‘donation’, you would soon receive a follow-up email claiming that you must send money to cover various expenses such as banking and insurance fees, tax, and processing costs. The scammers, still posing as Richard and Angela Maxwell will insist that for legal reasons, the fees must be paid in advance and cannot be deducted from the ‘donation’ itself.
If you pay the requested amount, further demands for money would likely follow. These demands will continue until you run out of available funds or belatedly realise that you are being scammed.
At that point, the scammers will simply disappear with your money.
And, to make matters worse, over the course of the scam, the criminals may have tricked you into supplying a large amount of your personal and financial information, ostensibly to prove your identity and allow your claim to be processed. This information may later be used to steal your identity.
A Common Scammer Ruse
Winners of large lottery prizes are often featured in various news reports. Scammers use the information in such reports to craft their scam messages and then randomly target potential victims via email spam campaigns.
Many lottery winners are indeed generous and do give away large portions of their winnings. However, not even the most generous of winners is likely to give away large sums of money to strangers based solely on the selection of their email addresses.
Do not believe any such claim.
An example of the email:
I am please to received your prompt response, this decision is from my wife and I, we agreed that if we ever win a Lottery, we will cede 10% of our winnings to an individual we have never met before as part of our own charity project. As fate would have it, we won the Euro Millions Lottery of £53 Million British Pounds and we have decided to fulfill our wish without any regret. To verify our lottery winnings, please see our interview by visiting the web page below:
Your email address was submitted to us by Google Inc. as a web user after they had done a computer spin-ball on several email addresses. Fortunately, you are the 10% beneficiary of our lottery winnings, I am much aware of the fraudulent activities going on around the world, for that reason people are really skeptical to accept when the real opportunity comes.
I didn’t believed it my self when I was contacted by the lottery board that I won £53 Million British Pounds, I thought it was all joke or fraud, but we thank God for this big and life changing opportunity.
Irrespective of your previous financial status, we need you to do us the favor by accepting our kind gesture wholeheartedly. Hence, to enable us transfer your £5.3 Million British pounds in your name by our offshore paying bank.
To effect the transfer to your designated bank account in your own country, we have discuss with our offshore bank and we where given terms of transfer, that our beneficiary will be mandated to setup an ONLINE OFFSHORE ACCOUNT with a minimum of $1000.00usd because of the security feature to avoid transfer interception and thief’s. I know this is a gift and you are not suppose to spend a dime, remember I also use £3000.00GBP to acquired ticket for my lottery winning, this is also a life changing opportunity for you and your entire family.
If you are okay with the term and condition of our paying bank, do provide us with the information’s below before will can furnish you with the bank contact information’s immediately.
Be aware there is no forma documentation on this, as this whole funds transfer is coming from Richard & Angela Maxwell and is %100 legitimate. Attached is our both international passport to verify our personality and authentication of the donation.
The only thanks we need is to use this money wisely and affect other individual and the less privileged in the society, so we can both make the world a better community if we
selflessly render help to one another.
Richard & Angela Maxwell
Since you’ve read this far……can I ask you for a big favour?
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