Lottery scam quick guide: it's a scam if...

  • you win any lottery where you didn't buy a ticket! It's really that easy! It's not just too good to be true: it's bait in a trap!
  • you receive a generous grant out of the blue. Sadly (but not surprisingly) there aren't any benevolent people regularly throwing around millions of pounds/dollars/euros to randomly chosen people. This is just the lottery scam without the ticket.
  • they send you partial payment in the form of a cheque, money order, or direct bank transfer and want you to pay them fees out of that money. They're playing you for a sucker: cheques are frequently forged, and direct transfers made by compromising some poor schmuck's online banking service. You'll wind up a victim of fraud, or a party to it.
  • they want you to send them any money of any sort for any reason. They might try to say there are courier fees or taxes to cover. They're lying. Call their bluff and tell them to take the fees out themselves -- they'll never ever agree, because they can't defraud you unless money is making the reverse trip from you to them somehow.

Monday, December 03, 2007

This Blog is On Hold

This blog was taken out of suspended animation for the month of November, 2007 for the purposes of collecting the latest variations on the lottery scam, and also to allow a comparison between November of 2006 and 2007. I'm pleased to say that this data-gathering exercise is now over -- pleased, because it's tedious! I received an average of nine lottery scams per day in the month of November, 2007, which is slightly more than double the quantity for November, 2006. Bear in mind that this blog was originally put on hold in December, 2006 because of the substantial increase in this kind of spam seen in November, 2006. In the six months prior to November, 2006, I documented an average of one to two such spams per day, and prior to that the average was below one per day.

A close examination of the November, 2007 corpus will show significant repetition. Where obvious duplicates arrived close together, only one instance was reported here, but little effort has been put into such removal of duplicates. The email address targeted by this spam is prominently visible in plain text on this blog, and given how little of this spam I receive at other addresses, it's a fair bet that such web-harvesting of addresses is the popular modus operandi for lottery scammers.