You have not won the Microsoft Lottery

Remember when e-mail scams only tried to sell you something you didn’t want?

 

Lately a new type of e-mail scam has been circulating. This one promises you something you probably do want – money. Don’t be fooled.

 

The scam, known as an “advanced fee fraud,” was around long before e-mail. These days its most common form is an e-mail that says you’ve won a large sum of money, or that a person will pay you a large sum of money for little or no work on your part. It’s also known as the Nigerian Letter or the 419 scam because the scammer often claims to be from Nigeria and 419 is the criminal code that this scam violates.

 

The stories behind the scams are different, but the result is the same. The victim parts with cash or sensitive personal information and ends up with nothing in return but a big headache.

 

Recently, Microsoft customers have become a target of this scam with false e-mails promising that you’ve won “The Microsoft Lottery.”

 

We’re sorry to say that you did not win the Microsoft Lottery, because there is no Microsoft Lottery.

 

These e-mails are intended to start a dialogue with people in order to convince them to hand over money or personal information or to click dangerous links on the Web.

 

This is another type of phishing scam, which we wrote about a few weeks ago. You can use the same general guidance to help protect yourself against these e-mail hoaxes.

 

·          Don’t respond to suspicious e-mails.

·          Don’t click links in suspicious e-mails.

·          Delete suspicious e-mails and move on.

·          If you feel like doing a good deed, report suspicious e-mails to the Anti-phishing Working Group.

 

For more information, see Spot and avoid advanced fee fraud scams and Recognize phishing scams and fraudulent e-mail.

About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »

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4 comments
  1. artduane

    This article is good for me and other’s. On how to handle scams email.

    Best Regards,

    Duane Aritonang

    ww.ArtDuane.com

  2. Anonymous

    I have made a few safety tips for your safety

    Never tell strangers your name online. A stranger could be trying to trick you.

    Never show a picture of yourself on the Internet. A stranger could be trying to trick you.

    I will come back with more!

  3. Anonymous

    The micro mega jackpot lottery chip no 9465206 . got email tnat winning , pls coment ts scam / lie or what??????

  4. Anonymous

    Oh wow I almost fell for such a scam today. I received a mail from "Windows Live Hotmail" in my native language (Dutch) that looked exactly like legitimate mail Microsoft. There were absolutely no security warnings! The sender address seems to be @microsoft.windowslive.com. It was about a lottery because hotmail is getting 15 years old. WARNING don't type your address here http://www.15jaarhotmail.nl/. WARNING don't type your hotmail here .

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