Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Congratuations You Have Won the Microsoft Lottery

A new one to chuckle at made it past my spam filters today. Perhaps I just haven’t seen it before but it certainly is a new twist.  Essentially, it’s based on the original scam letters from Nigeria but it combines two popular scams of recent years.

Most of you probably remember how Bill Gates was testing a new Email feature and promised if you forwarded the Email to 10 of our friends, you’d receive a check in the mail? 
I’m sure you’ve all received and hopefully deleted “Congratulations, You’ve Won the Lottery” in your Email.

Today, the “Scientific Lottery Game Promotion” let me know that “You are therefore entitled to a cash award US$2,500,000.00 (TWO MILLION FIVE HUNDRED USD)”  In a new twist to add validity to scam, they’ve added the Bill Gates name to it.

This lottery program was organized by our group of philanthropist promoted and sponsored by Mr. Bill Gates of Microsoft Inc,eminent personalities like the sultan of Brunei, Multi Choice and other corporate organisations.This lottery program was organized to improving the use of computer softwares and for the benefit of every Microsoft user.

There’s no link to click on but it does include an Email address. The Email domain belongs to a company in Tel Aviv which provides free Email.  In my research, I’ve found identical scams going back to last September which also use free Email accounts at walla(dot)com.

Perhaps the best protection is for Email filters to add a new free Email classification. I would love it if Outlook or AOL tagged any Email that arrived from a free Email site.  I’m sure I have friends who use Free Email but I suspect 98% comes from Email addresses that won’t last more than 30 days. 

 I’m also think spam filters should feel safe deleting any Emails which mention “the sultan of Brunei”.  :)


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