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Today, I received an email that said:
“The Ontario Lottery Corporation (OLC) is proud to inform you that you have won US $800,000 (EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLAR), why you have won? Your email address was among those chosen from our Java-based software that randomly selects email addresses from the web from which winners are selected.”
I understand, this email purportedly sent by “Ontario Lottery Corporation” and similar ones from “Canada Lottery Corporation” have been floating around on the net since early 2011. Nevertheless, it has taken a bit too long to reach me.
Let us analyze this email from “O.L.C. Board” with the subject “MESSAGE FROM ONTARIO CORPORATION.”
1. First of all, this letter has obviously been written by someone who doesn’t speak native English. Example: why you have won?
2. Would an official email from the Ontario Lottery contain errors like these?
Your winning price is to the tune of …
Congratulations once again from all our staff’s …
3. Although there is a legitimate lottery in Canada, it works like the lotteries in the United States, with each province selling their own tickets. But why is this Ontario Lottery picking the winners by email?
4. Why is the Ontario Lottery paying the prize in US Dollars?
5. Why did the letter come to me as a graphic instead of text? To bypass spam filters of course.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is an Operational Enterprise Agency created by the Government of Ontario. OLG and its affiliated companies employ more than 18,000 people throughout the province. They are responsible for 24 gaming sites and sales of lottery products at about 10,000 retail locations across the Province of Ontario.
This is what I found on their website OLG cautioning the public not to become prey to these types of scams.
“Have you received unsolicited emails, letters, or telephone calls asking you to pay taxes or fees on lottery winnings? Read the fraud indicators below for tips to identify and avoid lottery fraud and scams.“
- You did not buy a ticket.
- You have never heard of the lottery game.
- You did not register your name, address, email address, phone number, and a credit card before buying a ticket on an online lottery website.
- You do not live in the country (in this case CANADA), and you are not a citizen of the country of that lottery.
- You are asked to pay money up front for fees or taxes to release your “win.”
- You are told you must reply within a given time or the money will be given to someone else.
Added on Friday, December 7, 2012:
Today, I received yet another email containing the following purportedly sent by the Ontario Lottery Corporation:
From: OLC <ON@ca.olc>
to undisclosed recipients
- OLG (olg.ca)
- Canadian Lottery (phoenix.about.com)
- Smith Johnson Canada Lottery Scam (wafflesatnoon.com)
- Société des loteries de l’Ontario Escroquerie (tvaraj.com)
- Beware of this “Goodnews” Email Scam! (tvaraj.com)
- Beware of this Scam: Microsoft® 2012 Online Promotion (tvaraj.com)
- Beware of this “Microsoft Game Studios’ Microsoft Online Promotion” Scam (tvaraj.com)
- My Mobile number has WON the sum of £750,000 (tvaraj.com)
- A Do-It-Yourself Scam or How to Cheat Your Gullibe Friends (tvaraj.com)
- “Did You Receive Any Scam E-Mail Lately? Did You Respond to It?” – (tvaraj.com)
- Beware of the Age-old ‘Begging Letter’ Scam! (tvaraj.com)
- Yet Another Scam: I Receive This SMS Message Only on Sundays (tvaraj.com)