Good for me! Here's what happened when I tried to claim my prize.
Yes! What a lucky day! I've just got a message that I won 2,000,000.00 British Pounds (2.4M EUR/3.1M USD), an Apple laptop, a T-shirt, and a cap emblazoned with a logo of The Free Lotto Company. Pretty awesome you might think, but appearances are deceptive. Unfortunately, this is just one of the ways bad guys try to get some of our money.
Well, I was thinking, it‘s worth a shot. So I decided to write to the email address and see what would happen. Actually, the hardest part was a making up a fake name for myself! You would never believe how rough this might be. In the end, I decided to call myself Robert Konmed.
Here’s how the conversation went down.
Me: Hello, I've got a winning message with information to contact your email address. How can I pick up my prize please? Thank you, Robert Konmed
Bad guys: Please find attached document for info to contact courier delivery company: EMAIL:firstname.lastname@example.org Regards Brian Calton
Me: Hello guys, I'm really excited about a winning prize. But would be possible to tell me how much I should prepare for a delivery company? And also I'm curious if there is possibility to charge delivery from my winning prize? Thank you & have a nice day! Best regards! Robert Konmed
Bad guys: Dear Robert Konmed thank you for your emial however we are attching the delivery form for you to go through however we are only a delivery company and are not in a position to deduct the delivery charges from your winning Cheque since our job as a company is to deliver a package to you. Please find attached delivery form choose any delivery option of your choice complete and return it back to us to enable us continue with the delivery of your parcel Regards Joe Bragg
Me: Thank you for your prompt answer. So just for my recapitulation If I fill out all the forms and pay 690 pounds for a delivery I will get a package with money cheque, notebook, shirt and cap? Well here is my adress: Robert Konmed Budejovicka 1518/13a 140 00, Prague 4 Could you please tell me which way I should pay for delivery? Im fine with a three day delivery option (cheapest one). Thank you and Im looking forward! Robert Konmed
The rest of the story
Unfortunately, the bad guys did not answer regarding the payment details even though I planned to send them money! Paying 690 British Pounds (817EUR/ 1083USD) for delivery of such a huge amount as I allegedly won would definitely be worth it. Maybe they just tried the Google address in my email and figured out it‘s the headquarters of AVAST.
But I didn‘t give up! After trying to reach them with a phone number from the correspondence, +440 208 133 5717, I finally spoke to a young guy with an unfriendly manner, but he tried to help me anyway. I asked why they did not answer my last email and what to do about my prize. The only reasonable conclusion from that call was that he noted my email with a promise to answer soon. Nothing has happend so far. So in the end, I will not get my prize, darn it!
This group seems to have been active since at least 2007, but recently they have reached other platforms in their quest to earn/steal money. If you Google their phone number or addresses mentioned above, you can find pretty interesting information. However, the Free Lotto homepage has a really horrible reputation according to crowd-sourced rating service Web of Trust.
I choose this particular scam because it was personally sent to my phone, and it has spread during the past few weeks. It is definitely a SCAM and one of the social engineering tricks that bad guys use to deceive mobile users into giving them money. No one should never answer messages like this one!
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