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June 14, 2009

Lame (and Phony) Microsoft Lottery

Advance-fee (aka 419) crooks never stop. Microsoft's name has been used in the past for lotteries, so it's not unexpected to see their brand so brazenly hijacked for this latest tall tale:

From: "Microsoft Corporation"<freewebprize@microsoft.com>
Subject: Microsoft EU Email Program..Your Email Won!

***********************************DO NOT DELETE THIS MESSAGE*****************

P.O.BOX 7213
Tel: +31 [removed] 293 565
Fax: +31 [removed] 446 952

Microsoft Corporation wishes to congratulate you for being one of the lucky
winners in this season's email cash award program. With the introduction of
new types of games, with the ushering in of on-line technology and with the
permits issued under EU law to EU countries to compete for concessions to
run games on the internet, we are launching our first international
This is an independent promotion and is unconnected to any publication.
No purchase necessary. Be informed that this lottery promotion was conducted
through the Internet worldwide random selection, we are running a program
where instead of bought tickets and numbers in the ballots we use email
addresses. All contestants were selected through a computer ballot system
drawn from email addresses taken from all over the world.
the participants and winners where picked randomly through a computer ballot
system and your email address have been selected as one of the lucky winners.

Your email have been officially selected as a winner and authorised for
claim in the 2nd category winning prize of One Million Five Hundred
Thousand Euros.

For payment of your winning prize outlined herein are the terms and
conditions for claims and onward transfer:

1. You must be over the age of 18.

2. All winnings is Guaranteed and Insured.

3. Form below must be properly filled out.

4. Choose Mode of Payment (Bank wire Transfer / Bank Cheque)

5a.Winner is responsible for notarization fees and cost of transfer charges:
Due to the Insurance Bond Policy on your winning prize,
of which your winning prize must reflect exact winning prize on your nominated mode of payment.
(Bank Wire Transfer/ Bank Cheque) to avoid complications.

6. The notarization of your winning certificate completes the
claim process, failure to do so will make you to forfeit the prize.

7. Any leak of your winning information resulting in a double claim, will
nullify your winnings.

8. You are obliged to have your name published as a winner and will be
invited to be present in the t.v.show after remittance.

9. To be eligible for claim you must complete the claims process before the
expiry date stated in this winning notification you received.

10. Filing a claim means acceptance of the full terms and conditions of
Micrsoft Corporation.

If you agree to the terms and conditions for claim and onward transfer of your winning prize,
send your details and reference below to the Public Relations Officer below that you agree to the terms and conditions of
Microsoft Corporation and that you wish to claim your winning prize for onward transfer.

Tel: +31 [removed] 293 565
Fax: +31 [removed] 446 952
Email: [removed]@WEB.NL

Send the following to the Public Relations Manager above by email or fax:

Coupon Number: 378-059-132
Reference Number: WIN/83470/XEU
Full Name:
Date of Birth:
Winning Prize:
Proof of identity:

Send your details by fax if you find it difficult sending an email.

Any leakage of this winning notification leading in a double claim will
makes you to forfeit your prize this is part of our security protocol,
thus we advise you to keep this winni

away from public notice to prevent double claims and impersonation until after
remittance/payment to you.

Note: Claim expiry date is 17-06-2009. After this date all winning prizes will be filed
as unclaimed.

Congratulations once more from all members of staff.


Magaret Kexter.
Microsoft Corporation.

NOTICE: This message, including all attachments transmitted with it, is for
the use of the addressee only.
It may contain proprietary, confidential and/or legally privileged
information. No confidentiality or privilege is waived or lost by any
mistransmission. If you are not the intended recipient, you must not,
directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print or copy any part of
this message. If you believe you have received this message in error, please
delete it and all copies of it from your system and notify the sender
immediately by reply e-mail.

© 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of use. Privacy Statement

Even if, in your greediest moment, you bought into the notion of winning money from the billions stashed away in Microsoft cash on hand, there is one telltale sign that this offer is bogus: The return email address is not to a Microsoft entity. Microsoft (who, incidentally, would know how to spell "Microsoft" consistently throughout an email message -- see No. 10 above) would never rely on Nederland Online (web.nl) for a return email address.

Notice, too, that these crooks are pre-lubricating the shafting they're going to inflict on anyone who falls for the bait:

5a.Winner is responsible for notarization fees and cost of transfer charges: Due to the Insurance Bond Policy on your winning prize, of which your winning prize must reflect exact winning prize on your nominated mode of payment. (Bank Wire Transfer/ Bank Cheque) to avoid complications.

That gets the recipient ready to fork over some up-front dough in anticipation of a big payday. It will start with a request for a few hundred dollars to be wired somewhere exotic, but eventually escalate to thousands or more. The only TV show any sucker will be on (see No. 8 above) is one of those investigative shows that lets repentant suckers tell their tales of woe at having been bilked out of their retirement savings.

Why don't these guys come up with something more believable...like Steve Ballmer personally handing your winnings to you as a bushel of cash?

Posted on June 14, 2009 at 10:22 PM