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If you get an email in your inbox that claims to be from Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook – delete it! BBB is warning the scam email claims the recipient is the winner of $1 million in “our 2011 Sweepstakes (Facebook Inc).” The lottery emails are not from Facebook!
The BBB warns recipients not to click on the link in the email to claim the prize because the email could lead to malware – harmful or malicious programs – being downloaded to the recipient’s computer. Or the recipient might be asked to reveal personal information – which would result in the recipient’s identity being stolen.
The phony Facebook lottery email continues, “… your details(e-mail address) falls within our European representative office in Amsterdam, Holland, as indicated in your play coupon and your prize of US$1,000000 will be released to you from this regional branch office in England.”
Recipients are asked to click on a link to claim the prize, and are told to keep the information confidential: “For security reasons, we advise all winners to keep this information confidential from the public until your claim is processed and your prize released to you … ANY BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY ON THE PART OF THE WINNERS WILL RESULT TO DISQUALIFICATION.”
There are several red flags that the email is a scam:
· Businesses do not email consumers out of the blue to say consumers have won a lottery prize.
· The names of well-known businesses and individuals are often used in lottery scams to give the impression of a real lottery, even though there’s no connection to the named businesses or individuals.
· Prize winners would not be asked to click on a link in an unexpected email in order to claim a prize.
· Misspellings and poor grammar are signs that the email was not professionally prepared.
· The demand for confidentiality is a ploy to keep recipients from turning to someone they trust for advice, or checking with authorities.
Anyone who receives scam email can report the email to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, www.ic3.gov. Recipients may also want to forward bogus emails to the business that’s named in the email.
For tips go to www.bbb.org or call 1-800-388-2222.