Olympics fans targeted with lottery scam

An email purportedly coming from the promotion manager of the London 2012 Olympics has been hitting inboxes, trying to scam recipients into sending personal information and money in order to get the bogus 800,000 GBP (around $125,000) prize they have supposedly won:

Of course, the lottery and the prize are both non-existent, and the email is just a first step of a so-called “advance fee scam.”

“The criminals operating the scam campaign will claim that these fees are unavoidable legal requirements and will insist that they must be paid in full before the prize can be awarded. They will also insist that the fees cannot in any circumstances be deducted from the prize itself. The criminals will invent all kinds of ‘expenses’ that must be met in advance by the ‘winner’, including insurance costs, tax obligations and banking fees,” Hoax-Slayer explains.

Also, during the email exchange, the scammers often manage to convince their victims to share their personal and financial information, which can then be used to mount other scams and perpetrate identity theft and financial fraud.

This type of scam often pops up before and after a high-profile sporting event, and the Olympic Games are no exception. Users just need to know and remember that the claims that they have been randomly selected as winners of a lottery that they have never entered are likely to lead to a scam.

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