Monday, September 24, 2012

Lotto Scam

The following text has been received by numerous people on their cellphones:
Transaction no: 4224 Your mobile number has won 720,000.00 pounds in the ongoing freelotto bonanza for claim email:
Sending a reply to the email address given in the text results in receiving this:

From: free lotto


54, Russell Gardens, London, W14 8EZ

============================== == 
Ref: TFR/9900034943/JPT
Batch: FR/45-300-07
============================== ==

ATTN: winner,

Firstly we offer our Friendship, Greetings, & we hope this email meets you in a good time.However strange or surprising this email might seem to you as you did not enter the competition.

YOUR MOBILE NUMBER ATTACHED TO (Free Lotto Automatic Subscription Transaction NO.: 4224) HAS WON £720,000.00 {Seven Hundred and Twenty Thousand Great British Pounds} IN THIS WEEKS GIVEAWAY WINNERS.

On behalf of the Management and Staffs of  Free Lotto , we officially congratulate you as the beneficiary of the cash prize of £720,000 Pounds (Seven Hundred and Twenty Thousand Great British Pounds) and your funds will be transferred directly to your local bank account after you complete the verification process.

Good to hear from you regarding the  Free Lotto. My name is Dr. Anthony Floyd, I am the Free Lotto Cash officer assigned to winners on the Mobile sweepstakes. Congratulations, we the staffs of Free Lotto congratulate you as one of the lucky winners on this year  Free Lotto  Draw. Your Mobile Phone Number has been selected at random by our computer system of networking and has won for you the sum of £720,000 Pounds (Seven Hundred and Twenty Thousand Great British Pounds) and all informations concerning the facilitation of your claims will commence as soon as you  meet with the requirement.

In line with the commemorating event marking our 142nd anniversary, we rolled out over 140,000.000.00GBP  for our 142nd Anniversary Draws. All participants were selected through a computer ballot system, drawn from 25,000 company mobile numbers, and 30,000,000 individual mobile numbers, from 45 mobile networks fromUAE, Australia, North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa as part of International Promotions Program, which is conducted annually.

The order is.... Surname :- / Firstname:-/ Othernames. 

This is real and not a hoax. You can click on the website link below to view the photo page of some of our recent lucky winners.

Contact our Attorney with the contact information below for futher instructions on how to claim your prize.

Full Name:
Delivery Contact Address:
Winning Mobile Number:

Find below the contact information to EMAIL the Attorney for your immediate action.
============================== =====

Bennett Welch and Co.
Pissarro House
82a Westow Hill
Upper Norwood
London, SE19 1GH
Tel: +44 758 7811 735 
The link given in the message in an apparent attempt to demonstrate that this "offer" is legitimate is interesting. Apparently, the FreeLotto website has become aware of scammers using their website to further their scams and have posted a disclaimer and warning. However, this warning is not obvious on the website and you have to scroll to the bottom of their homepage to find it. I forwarded a copy of the scmmers' email to them, for whatever good that will do.

The email address given as the contact information for their attorney uses the domain which is an obvious attempt to impersonate the real law firm based in the United Kingdom, Bennett Welch Solicitors. I have already notified the solicitors (what Americans call lawyers or attorneys) of this and they replied that they are already aware of it, due to numerous people already having notified them. The solicitors have a vested interest in taking action against the scammers' use of the domain name. in order to protect their own reputations.

An IP trace (IP: of the message I received traced the message back to London in the United Kingdom.

Duane Browning
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