Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Lottery winner?

The following email arrived in my inbox. I read it and should have been excited, dreaming
about wonderful things to do with my new fortune.

Unfortunately I am not so gullible to believe everything on the Internet and in my inbox is truthful. On the contrary, fake news proliferates. I read the email and hit delete, but first copied and pasted it here for your edification. Should you receive this or similar correspondence, ignore and erase immediately. Here is the entire text of the email:

Dear Lucky Winner,

We happily announce to you that Your email has won you US$4.2m for 2017 Uk-Lotto Sweepstakes Lottery International programs, reply for more information.

Juan Peterson
Telephone: +4470457 86726

How many other people received this communication? Knowing I was not the only one, was there 100, 1,000, tens of thousands? Maybe millions? Or am I the only one – the supposedly lucky one – to be chosen as the recipient of this magnificent gift?

It is a miracle! Or it would be if I won. I rarely win anything. And never bought a Uk-Lotto Sweepstakes Lottery International lottery ticket.

I googled the Uk-Lotto Sweepstakes Lottery International and this is what came up #1:

No one won any money.

I occasionally buy a lottery ticket – a Powerball or Mega Millions – when potential winnings are great. Not that a million or so is mediocre, but I do not buy tickets regularly. The most ever won is $2, and immediately bought another ticket.

And of course won nothing.

Most scam emails land in my spam folder, but once in a while one announcing I am the winner or the inheritor or the recipient of a fortune drops into my inbox.

Before lamenting a fortune lost, I received another email, this one much longer.

A humble Sergeant in the U.S. Army not well schooled in the English language sent a letter chock-full of grammatical errors. The Sergeant must get $1 million worth of gold out of the Benin Republic, where his package resided over the past few years. He received the money as a result of a peacekeeping mission in Libya in 2011.

Anyone interested? Anyone believe this fairy tale?

Benin is a small French-speaking republic in West Africa. Its biggest claim to fame is that it is the origin of the voodoo religion.

Voodoo…bogus claims…a 21st century phony tale…Excerpts from the letter exactly as received:

Dear (nothing personal – but the writer did NOT know my name. Maybe the letter is from Trump?)

This message may come to you as a surprise but i want you to patiently read my proposal and respond back to me for more details if interested. My name is Sergeant John whyte, I am a Sergeant in United States Army but currently in Afghanistan for a peace keeping .  I humbly need your assistance in a transaction which i will need a trusted person that will handle with me, I  got an urgent information from a security company in Benin Republic were i deposited my package few years ago and according to the information i got from the company , they notified me that the government of Benin has issued urgent approval to all security companies in Benin to release and deliver every financial packages that has been deposited in their company for a period of 6 years…

The letter continues for a couple more lengthy paragraphs, and then requests the reader to contact the writer, at which time a request for funds to transfer the money (or the gold) will be made. The author of the correspondence receives the money from the gullible email recipient who never hears from the person again. No cash or gold or any follow-up.

Does anyone believe these fabrications? How many people answer the scams? Do receivers of these unsolicited messages send money when requested? The sender(s) must make money or would not waste time.

Remember the TV show The Millionaire? The series ran from 1955 to 1960. A rich guy gave away a million dollars each week to an individual who may or may not have deserved it.

Should a real modern-day benefactor appear looking for worthy recipients, I will humbly accept the gift.

Regrettably it is not likely to happen.

But I can dream. We all can dream. And disregard scam emails. Fake news too.

An interesting study would be to discover whether or not a correlation exists between responders of scam emails and fake news fans. What do you think?


  1. Juan Peterson and John whyte . . . such believable real names, such believable communications from generous strangers.

  2. I wonder who is unsophisticated or desperate enough to send the fee and get scammed? They are everywhere...even time share companies take a couple of thousand dollars and then disappear never to buy the time share. Or, the old one about the grandchild stuck somewhere in another country. My favorites were the Nigerian Prince or Princess that went the round a few decades ago.