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January 19, 2006

New Bogus Lottery Variation

An advance-fee (a.k.a. 419) scam is an advance-fee scam, no matter how the author colors it. The fake Europe-based lottery has been around forever (discussed in this blog regularly), but one I saw today offers a new twist—a twist that isn't very well executed.

Instead of a money prize (that doesn't exist), the latest scam email I saw today awards a free ticket (that doesn't exist) to the Africa Cup of Nations, a soccer/football event that starts tomorrow (20 January). The winning message starts out so familiarly:



Attn: Sir/Madam,

We wish to congratulate you as one of winners of free ticket to Egypt for 25th Africa Cup of Nations which is been sponsored by MTN with its headquarters in South Africa. You were attached to ticket number 663-54731-1242-908, with Batch numbers 3899/76RL7/9GH and consequently won a free ticket.

That's about as much as they say about the prize: "free ticket to Egypt." How much is that worth? Dunno. And why just one ticket? What if I want to bring my soccer hooligan friend with me so we can both be thrown into an Alexandria prison? And what about tickets to the matches? And hotels and meals? I mean, c'mon. This scammer had better sweeten the pot if he expects someone to start forking over hundreds of dollars to have the prize couriered (not!). It costs him nothing to make this prize sound really valuable, but he missed the boat on this one. It's also a waste of milliseconds sending these messages to North America, where interest in professional soccer is lackluster at best.

Next time, try offering trips to the Super Bowl or World Series. And try to watch an installment of "The Price Is Right" to see how we in the States like to have our prizes sexed up.

Posted on January 19, 2006 at 07:48 AM