The Number of Messages about False Lottery Prizes in Circulation Increases, According to Panda Software

Over the last few weeks, PandaLabs has detected a significant increase in the number of false lottery prize messages. These messages inform recipients that they have won a large sum of money in one of the drawings held worldwide. These types of messages take advantage of the popularity of certain lotteries around the globe. This increase coincides with the forthcoming drawings of many special Christmas lotteries, which are usually quite well known for the number of prizes and amount they pay out.

In general, these messages have texts similar to the following:
This is to inform you of the release of the Royal Spanish Sweepstakes Lottery Email Promotional Program held on the 15TH SEPT 2006, this result was initially delayed due to mix up of email addresses, the results were finally released on the 22ND SEPT 2006, and your email attached to Ticket number: 212005600545 188 with Serial number: 4888/02, which drew the Lucky numbers: 41-6-76-13-45-8, which consequently won the lottery in the Second category of the year 2006. You are therefore approved for a lump sum payout of 1, 000, 000.00 (ONE MILLION EUROS ONLY) in cash accredited to file reference number: KPC/9080333308/03 this is from a total cash prize of 19, 000, 000.00 (NINTEEN MILLION EUROS ONLY) Shared among the nineteen international winners in this category.

Your fund is now deposited in a security company with your prize money insured in your email. Due to mix up of some email addresses, we ask that you keep this award from public notice until your claim has been processed and money remitted to your account as this is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unwarranted abuse of this program by participants as it has happened in the past. All participants were selected randomly from World Wide Web site through computer draw system and extracted from over 100.000 companies, this promotion takes place annually. We hope your lucky email address will draw a bigger cash prize in the next high stake promotion agenda of 30,000,000.00 (THIRTY MILLION EUROS).

To file for your claim, please contact our fiduciary agent:
World Royal Consultancy And Securities Madrid Spain.

Users who receive messages like this should not reply to these fraudsters. The procedure, as verified by PandaLabs, is usually the following: When the recipient contacts the phone number specified in the email message, which are usually cell phone numbers or a special numbers that make it difficult to identify the owner, the fraudster asks for the reference number that appears in the email message. After pretending to look for the reference number in a database, the fraudster confirms that the recipient has won the prize.

Then the fraudster asks the victim to send some personal details (name, surname, telephone number, etc.) to a certain email address or fax number, so that the alleged agent can payout the prize. However, this agent will then demand a commission before handing over the money. If the victim pays this commission, the fraudsters will continue to demand payment for many different reasons, in order to get as much money as possible.

According to Luis Corrons, director of PandaLabs, "no lottery system pays out prizes if a ticket has not been bought beforehand. These alleged drawings claim to be systems to promote Internet use or similar, and sometimes claim to be financed by large companies or rich benefactors."

Technically these types of messages are classed as scams. Many products are available on the market that can detect this type of fraud. These products include Panda Antivirus 2007, Panda Antivirus+Firewall 2007 and Panda Internet Security 2007. These security solutions recognize the text content of these messages and flag them or delete them if the content is dubious.

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