I just won the lottery!

Have you ever received an email that looks a bit like this? The following is an extract from an email I have just received. It was allegedly sent to me by the FBI.

This is to officially inform you that it has come to our notice and we have thoroughly completed an investigation with the help of our Intelligence Monitoring Network System that you legally won the sum of $8,000,000.00 USD. from a Lottery Company in the United States of America. During our investigation we discovered that your e-mail won the money from an Online Balloting System and we have authorized this winning to be paid to you via a Certified Cashier’s Check.

You will also be required to request Western Union details on how to send the required $650.00 in order to immediately ship your prize of $8,000,000.00 USD via Certified Cashier’s Check drawn from Bank of America, and also include the following Fund Reference Identification.

As expected, the email asked me to provide some personal information like my name, address, direct telephone numbers and requested I pay $650 USD, to enable my winnings to be processed. The email also included a number of links I should click on.

So it looks like I will be set up for life…where do I sign?

Just wait a minute.

This has to be a classic email scam designed to separate people like you and I from our hard-earned money.

The promoters of these scams play the numbers game. If they send out enough emails to enough people, a small proportion of those who receive the email will actually think (or hope) it is true, will provide their personal information and pay the $650 USD. Send out enough emails to enough people and even a 0.01% response will generate substantial sums for the promoters of the scheme.

And guess what, if I paid the $650 USD as requested, I guarantee I would receive another email advising that payment of the $8,000,000,000 was imminent; and the money would be transferred once I made an additional payment of, perhaps a couple of thousand dollars, to cover an unexpected fee or government charge. So close, yet so far.

A recent study conducted by Griffith University researchers found that the most vulnerable group in Australia to be victims of internet fraud people aged between 40 and 60. More particularly, women aged between aged between 50 and 60 are even more vulnerable.

Sadly, the incidence of internet fraud is on the increase. New scams appear regularly and the promoters are becoming even more sophisticated as each day goes by.

We all want to believe in something special happening in our lives, but if you ever receive an email like this, never click on the imbedded links and never provide personal information to anyone you don’t know.

Now…what should I do with my lottery winnings?

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