My spam folder has been flooded of late with emails claiming that I can win a Ford Ranger.
The emails, which include images of the supposed prize vehicle, invite me to click a link to fill in a form that will give me the chance to win. The messages imply that the Ford company itself is giving away the car.
But, alas, the email has no connection to Ford and my chances of winning a Ford Ranger by clicking the link are precisely zero.
The strange grammar in the emails is enough on its own to raise a red flag. As is the paragraphs of random Polish text included in the email’s footer in an apparent attempt to fool spam filters. (Note – It didn’t work).
Here’s a screenshot of the spam email:
But, what happens when you click?
I certainly don’t recommend that you click on links in these types of emails at all. Ever!
But, in the interests of exposing these fraudsters, I went ahead and clicked. I clicked so that you won’t have to! You can thank me later.
So, here’s what happened.
Instead of being taken to a legitimate prize claim form as I expected (not really, I’m not that gullible), a decidedly dodgy “casino jackpot’ website loaded in my browser.
I filled in some fake details on the form and was told that I had won five free spins. Of course, the last of my five free spins won the $50 jackpot bonus.
I was then instructed to sign up for an account to claim my bonus. But, the fine print on the page stated that I must deposit a minimum of $50 before I can claim my $50 “bonus”. Yeah, right!
Let’s break this down:
- This “casino” site or one of its dodgy affiliates sent me an email that lied about being associated with Ford.
- The email lied about giving me the chance to win a Ford Ranger.
- The senders have used dirty tricks such as random text to try to bypass spam filters.
- The site the email links to makes no mention of Ford Rangers or how I might go in the draw to win one.
All that and they want me to trust them with my credit card and personal details? No thanks!
Of course, there are seemingly endless variations of these spam emails. Other versions may promise other types of vehicles or different “prizes” such as store gift cards, holidays, airline tickets, or tech gear. And, links in these emails lead to all sorts of scammy websites, not just jackpot game sites.
Alas, at least a few people must fall for these tricks and sign up on such dodgy sites. Otherwise, the spammers would not bother.
As per usual, the best thing to do with spam emails is hit “delete” and get on with your day.
Importance NoticeAfter 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 YouI 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 DateHoax-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!