Yahoo Lottery Inc
Scammers are using the name of one of the world’s biggest Internet companies to fleece people of money in an advance fee fraud email scam.
The email is emblazoned with the Yahoo! name and logo and reads:
“Messenger Yahoo! Lottery Results You Won $500,000 (or $800,000)! Yahoo! Mail congratulates you!
“Yahoo! Mail announce (sic) you as (sic) one of the 10 lucky winners in the ongoing Yahoo Lottery Draw for the year, 2007.
“All 10 email addresses were randomly selected from a batch of 50,000,000 international emails from Canada, Australia, United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Oceania as part of its international promotions program …”
The email claims the lottery is promoted and sponsored by a conglomerate of multinational companies “as part of their social responsibility to the citizens in the communities where they have operation base”. How nice of them!
The email goes on to ask you to contact a claims officer and to provide name, age, address, occupation and telephone number.
An Australian spokesman for Yahoo! confirmed the email is a scam.
But the email was good enough to fool one WA ScamNet contributor into contacting the scammers. He was provided with authentic looking certificates and asked to contact a security service. The requests for monies began.
This is a typical advance fee fraud. These scammers are experts in conning people out of their money by befriending them and stringing them along.
The requests for money start small - a few hundred dollars - and then escalate to pay for various fictitious international and government fees and taxes. The money is always wire transferred to the scammers, making it almost impossible to trace or retrieve.
Western Australians have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to overseas conmen operating these types of scams. Don’t become one of them.
Remember, a legitimate lottery would never ask you to pay a fee to access your winnings.