Scam of the day – December 25, 2012 – Lottery scam

I don’t want to be the one to rain (or snow) on your parade on Christmas, but to all of you out there like me who received an email like the one I received that is copied at the bottom of today’s “Scam of the day, ” I am sorry to inform you that you have not won a lottery in South Africa or anywhere else.  Phony lotteries continue to be one of the most popular scams and for good reason – people continue to fall for them.  These phony lotteries can harm you in many ways.  Some ask for personal information including your Social Security number in order to process your payment.  Unfortunately, this information is used to make you a victim of identity theft.  Other phony lotteries ask for you to send processing fees which they steal from you and never deliver your promised prize while others require you to make payments to the lottery sponsor of the income tax due on your winnings.

TIPS

You never win lotteries you haven’t even entered so if you receive a notice, such as I copied below, you can be sure that it is a scam.  Never provide personal information to anyone whom you aren’t sure has a legitimate need for the information because it can lead to your identity being stolen.  Although, legitimate lottery winning are subject to income tax, you will never be asked by the lottery sponsor to pay them the income tax.  They will either deduct the tax from your prize or you will be responsible on your own to pay the income taxes directly to the IRS.  No lottery collects taxes on behalf of the IRS.  And, perhaps most tellingly.  Playing foreign lotteries is a violation of federal law.  If you participate in a foreign lottery, you have broken the law.  If you get an email such as I received, totally ignore it.  Do not respond in any way because if you do, the scammer will know they have a real person to work with.

Here is the email that I recently got informing me of my good fortune:

Attention:Account Holder

Congratulations you have won US$1,000.000.00 (one Million United State Dollars) on SOUTH AFRICA compensation charity program, your email address was selected from a computer ballot draw that was held by FIFA committee in conjunction with South Africa 2010 and the upcoming 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP in Brazil,football association.

We wish to congratulate you on your victory; winners shall be paid in accordance with his/her settlement center. Stated below are your

Identification numbers:

Batch number: 18/006/1094/lipda/sl,

Reference number: lli/240142/011,

Pin: 20014, file number: flie//5612/1364.

Security code: SA201JB,

FILL THE DETAILS REQUESTED:
1. YOUR FULL NAME…………………………………………

2. YOUR COUNTRY NAME………………………………….

3. MOBILE NUMBER…………………………………………

4. OCCUPATION………………………………………………

5. FAX NUMBER………………………………………………

6. BATCH NUMBER…………………………………………..

7. REFERENCE NUMBER……………………………………

8. PIN NUMBER……………………………………………….

9. FILE NUMBER……………………………………………..

10. SECURITY CODE………………………………………….

11. DATE OF BIRTH……………………………………………. .

12.EMAIL ACCOUNT……………….

You are advised to contact our local  agent who is your claims agent for more
details and pay out of your won prize.

Claims agent contact details below:
Mr. James Morgan
Tel:+27788776027
Email: agentjamesmorgan1@yahoo.com.hk

You are to contact the above claims agent as soon as you receive this email
with claim Reference number, Batch Number Pin Number and your security Code otherwise your prize will be canceled.

Congratulations once again from members and staffs of this organization.

Yours faithfully,
Mary Cole.
Online coordinator