If you have received an email that tells you that you have won an Internet based lottery, then congratulations, you are the lucky recipient of an email lottery scam! Many people living in near-poverty or seniors facing low-income retirement may fall prey to lottery scam emails claiming that they have won millions of dollars or Euros simply by having their email address picked at random. People respond out of either greed or hope, and end up losing their lives’ savings. There are some very obvious signs that tell if you have received a lottery scam e-mail, and the first and foremost sign is that you never bought a ticket. As the saying goes, if you don’t buy a ticket you can’t win it.
There will always be people saying that if you fall for an email lottery scam then you deserve what happens to you, but many of the people who respond to these nefarious emails are suffering from dementia, or dementia-inducing ailments like Alzheimer’s disease. Emails that prey on the weak and weak-minded is one of the more serious problems facing Internet security and law enforcement agencies, and eradicating the problem is not as easy as it may seem.
But still, there are people who fall for these scams to this day, even after almost daily warnings from banks, the newspapers, news bureaus and police bulletins. After a bad-luck filled life, when opportunity appears to be knocking on their door, many people answer and think that they have struck it rich, not thinking that they never bought a ticket (well, maybe I did and I just don’t recall seems a popular response of these victims).
Preying on the susceptible people and people suffering from any type of dementia-inducing ailments (think Alzheimer’s), these cyber-criminals are sending out millions of these lottery scam emails hoping that hundreds of people will respond. The problem is that lots of people do respond to these scams, and as long as they do respond to them, these lottery email scams will continue to plague and prosper.
Lottery e-mail scams claim that all that you need to do is pay for the registration fees and winning money transfer costs up front, along with processing fees, and any other means of milking more money out of the mark (victim). The most dangerous part to the lottery scam e-mail is when victims provide them with personal and banking information. Providing these people with that information pretty much guarantees a depleted bank account, maxed-out credit cards, a vehicle leased in their name and even complete identity theft. In two weeks’ time someone in another country will be carrying a legal-seeming passport in your name, with their pictures on it after responding to one of these lottery email scams.
Legal lotteries will not ask for any personal or banking information, other than making you prove that you actually do have the physical winning ticket and some photo ID. If the lottery winnings come from South Africa, Kenya, The U.K., New Zealand and any other country that you have never even been to, a flag should be raised inside your mind saying that this is just not right. If something appears too good to be true, it most likely is, and you should avoid it like the plague.
Lottery emails should be wiped from email accounts without opening them, because many contain worms, viruses and/or phishing programs that will find your personal information inside your computer, as well as any information on friends and relatives, without you knowing about it. Involving yourself in an illegal scheme is one thing, but to involve all of the people in your computer’s contacts lists is a completely different thing, and bringing them into your nightmare is akin to you scamming money from them yourself.