This is an odd scam which, on the surface of things, seems fairly unlikely to succeed. After all, you know that you didn't ever enter this lottery. In fact, you've never even heard of this lottery before. So how could you have won it?
But, since it mentions a rather hefty sum of money, you decide (out of pure curiosity, of course!) to keep reading. You quickly discover that the your entry was tied to your email address, and the lottery had a "mixup". "Oh," you think to yourself, "somehow they managed to get my email address, even though I never entered. It's just a mixup. But...they're saying I WON!"
Could your luck get any better than this?
Remember, as a general rule, if something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is! In this case, there is no lottery, no jackpot, no mixup, no anything except a scammer who is hoping to fool you.
Unlike the Nigerian scam, there doesn't appear to be anything illegal or risky; they're just going to give you money, right? No. They are not going to give you money. And don't be fooled into thinking there's no risk.
At some point along the line they're going to tell you they need you to pay some sort of "fee" before they can release your winnings to you. And they'll keep inventing "fees" for you to pay until you realize that you're not getting any money. At that point it's too late to do anything; they've disappeared with your money.
Do not respond to these emails, and if you have responded to one, contact the FBI immediately.
Lottery Scam Sample
CONTACT OUR AGENT IMMEDIATELY
TEN KATESTRAAT , KK 1103,THE - NEDERLANDS.
FROM: INTERNATIONAL PROMOTION / PRIZE AWARD DEPT.
RE: WINNING NOTIFICATION/FINAL NOTICE
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the Lottery Winners International programs held on the 12th of January 2006. Your e- mail address attached to ticket number 20511465897-6287 with serial number 472-971103 drew lucky numbers 8-66-97-22-46-88 which consequently won in the 2nd category, you have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of US$ 600,000.00 (Six Hundred Thousand United State Dollars)
Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep your winning information very confidential till your claims has been processed and your prize/money Remitted to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants. All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over 200,000,000 companies and 300,000,000 individual email addresses and names from all over the world. This promotional program takes place annually. We hope with part of your winning you will take part in our next year USD100 million international lottery.
To file for your claim, please contact our/your fiducial agent
MR. ROD THOMPSON
ACCREDITED PAYMENT AGENT
Note that all winning must be claimed not later than 30th January 2006. After this date all unclaimed, funds will be included in the next stake. Please note in order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications please remember to quote your reference number and batch numbers in all correspondence. Furthermore, should there be any change of address do inform our agent as soon as possible.
Congratulations once more from our members of staff and thank you for being part of our promotional program. Note: Anybody under the age of 18 is automatically disqualified.
Mrs. Sandra Smith