The email message below, which claims the recipients are winners in The Mega Million Lottery Award 2017, is a scam being sent by lottery scammers or cyber criminals to potential victims. The lottery scammers may contact potential victims by email, telephone, mobile phone, or through social media sites, and tell intended victims they have won a large prize. They might identify themselves as being with Mega Millions or another legitimate lottery, even though Mega Millions is a game, not an organization. Remember, no representative of Mega Millions would ever call or e-mail someone about winning a prize.
Most recently, these scams use important-sounding names like “United States National Lottery,” “Mega Millions Mobile Lottery,” "USA UK Mega Millions Lottery," “Mega Millions Corporation” or “Mega Millions International Lottery” – these are all attempts to look legitimate in order to scam people out of their money. None of these so-called entities exist – again, Mega Millions is a game, not an organization. These scammers are fraudulently using the Mega Millions' name and our logo.
These scams all have one thing in common: They try to trick you into sending them money or personal information by claiming that you have won a large lottery prize. They often target older people and have been known to wipe out victims’ retirement savings.
If the person is fooled into thinking he or she has won a prize, the crooks usually try to get the person to wire money for “taxes” or “fees.” They may also try to get the victim to provide them with a bank account number, which they will then clean out. Another trick is to send the winner a bogus “check” and ask the winner to send money back to cover expenses. It is only after victims have sent their own money that they discover the check they received is counterfeit.
Here are some tips that can prevent you from being scammed:
- Always go to the legitimate Mega Millions website at www.megamillions.com to verify a lottery winning.
- If someone says you have won a lottery that you have never played, be suspicious. You can’t win a legitimate lottery if you didn’t buy a ticket.
- If you have caller-ID on your phone, check the area code when someone calls to tell you you’ve won. If it is from a foreign country, that is a red flag. Also, be aware that some con artists use technology that allows them to disguise their area code: although it may look like they’re calling from your state, they could be anywhere in the world.
- Be suspicious if an e-mail contains misspellings or poor grammar, or if the person who called you uses poor English.
- If you are told that you need to keep your “win” confidential, be suspicious.
- No real lottery tells winners to put up their own money in order to collect a prize they have already won. If you have to pay a fee to collect your winnings, you haven’t won.
- Just because a real lottery is mentioned does not necessarily make it a real prize. Someone may be using the lottery’s name without its permission or knowledge.
- Never give out personal information or send money unless you verify the company’s or solicitor’s legitimacy.
- If they offer to wire the “winnings” directly into your bank account, do not give them your bank account information.
- If you are told that you can “verify” the prize by calling a certain number, that number may be part of the scam. Instead of calling it, you should look up the name of the lottery or organization on your own to find out its real contact information.
- If you think someone on the phone is trying to scam you, hang up immediately. If you engage them in conversation, your name and contact information could end up on a list that’s shared with other scammers.
A Sample of "The Mega Million Lottery Award 2017" Scam
From: Thompson Rodriguez <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Saturday, 24 June 2017 3:09 PM \
Subject: Re: CLAIM WINNING NUMBER 84-35-45ZP Attn: Mr. Patrick Mokone
THE MEGA MILLION LOTTERY
Address: 49 Featherstone Stretat LONDON CI Y ENK WWI UNITED KINGDOM
Ref Payment No: 89680MM
Batch Num er: MML-69705
Attn: Mr. Patrick Mokone
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF YOUR MAIL FOR THE CLAIM OF YOUR WINING PRIZE US$3MILLION..
Whereby acknowledge the receipt of your mail. We are glad to announce to you as one of the 25 lucky winners in the ongoing The Mega Million lottery Award 2017.
All 25 winning accounts were randomly selected from a batch of 50,000 The Mega Million Group, you have approve to receive your wining prize of US$3 Million via Swift Transfer.
Certificate Number: GNP-LPRC 183673
Batch Number: MML-89705 Lotto Number: MML-65812 Winning Number: 84-35-45-ZP Ref Payment No: 896801vIM Amount Won: US$3 Million
Note that the above numbers is what qualified you to be one of the lucky winner to receive the amount of US$3 Million, note that this is a free online lottery organized by the, The MEGA MILLION Group.
You are advice to furnish us with the below information to enable us issue you the Winning Certificate of your winning.
YOU ARE ADVICE TO FURNISH US THE BELOW INFORMATIONS TO ENABLE US TQ PROCESS THE RELEASE OF YOUR WINING PRIZE.
Full Name: Sex: Phone Number: Country/ City: Occupation: Home Address: A Copy of your International Passport or Driving License:
We look forward to hear from you. Thus congratulations.
Dr. Thompson Rodriguez
THE MEGA MILLION LOTTERY
This Certify that the Winning Number below emerged as one of the lucky Winner's in Zorpla Award Lottery. Having verified and proved to the Zorpia Award Loitery CorPerationiiiailiibm owner of the won prises. We do hereby approve a lump sum payment as stiteds
ZORPIA AWARD WINNER £1,300,000.00 GBP (One Million Three Hundred Thousand Great Britain Pound Sterling's)
June 2017 Date
Mr. Fred Wilson Lottery Co-ordinator