Dr Goddy Jenkins from email@example.com has sent me an email saying I have won something from shell and I can claim my prize if I supply some details. Oh goody. Hang on...
It is possible because I have taken part in a number of promotions but ... "Dr"? Is it likely that an MD or PhD will be in a PR job emailing competition winners? Still, it could be his name ... that can happen right?
You have been declared the winner of GBP 350,000.00 (Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand British Pound Sterlings) .This is a concluded selection conducted over the internet with our automated email selection machine.This Lottery is promoted and sponsored by Shell International Petroleum Company Limited (United Kingdom) as part of their social responsibility to alleviate poverty.We hereby congratulate you on this huge prize monies.You are required to contact Mr. Alan Yates for immediate verification and disbursement of your Prize winnings with the following contact details below:
The sum won is in pounds stirling ... I have only been involved with Shell NZ, so the prize should be in NZ dollars. But there's an answer to that ... seems to be some sort of email lottery and the aim is to "alleviate poverty". So I don't need to enter to win - that's nice of them. However, there are registered charities in the UK which will reward Shell for their contributions, if they want to just hand out large sums of money to help the needy, surely this path is more in keeping with the corporate mentality. Then there's the "huge prize moneys"? Would Shell hire someone with such poor English grammar? Finally, the name to contact, Mr Alan Yates, is different from the name in the from field. He is described as a "fiduciary agent", a claims agent: lotteries never use claim agents. Though a corporation might, one as large as Shell is quite capable of handling the matter in-house: I'd expect a letter from their lawyers. In fact, once that thaught crosses my mind I realise that a company like Shell would not contact me through email: this is way out of character.
The body of the email provides winning numbers and so on as well as someplace to go claim my prize. Then I am told I'll need to submit these things to get the prize: surely they have that information already? They want more information than that - they want all my phone numbers, and contact details as well.
What's more, they want me to keep my winnings a secret - huh? Lotteries are keen to publish you as a winner, just look at the terms on a Lotto (NZ) ticket.
Long before now the email gets junked as a scam. But look it up and you find I am not the frst, nor will I be the last. This is an example of a 419 scam where marks are asked for some sort of fee, and personal details, in order to claim a lottery or other prize.
This is what 419scam.org has to say about this particular example:
This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
They don't notify winners by email.
You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.