Beware Facebook lottery email scams!

Filed Under: Facebook, Featured, Mobile, Social networks, Spam

Congratulations! You've won the Facebook lottery!

At least, that's what the following email claims.

Facebook lottery email

The email says that you can turn up in person at an address in London to claim your prize, but you will have to confirm your identity and eligibility.

If you don't want to visit London, then you can choose to pay a mere £385 to have the necessary paperwork couriered to you.

for your convenience, we can have your Facebook Claim Paper Work sent to you via our contracted Courier Service for signing and then send back to us to effect immediate release of your Winning. But note that you are to bear courier charges of this option which attracts the sum of £385 British Pound, only to be paid if you decide to settle for the Facebook Claim Paper Work to be sent to you via our contracted Courier Service. Please note that the £385 British Pound courier charges includes insurance and tax fees, as the paper work in question is highly confidential and needs to be insured for safety measures.

Hmm.. So, you've won a lottery but the company awarding you the prize won't stretch to having something couriered to you? Never mind! It's sure to be covered by your prize winnings, right?

Facebook lottery email

Although the phone number given in the email looks, to the casual observer, to go to a UK mobile phone it actually could be redirected anywhere in the world. The 0770 number is registered with British firm Cloud9, which offers international mobile services.

In short, you think you're phoning Facebook in London - but the phone could be being picked up by Fabian in Nairobi.

If you do call that number, chances are that you will be asked to share personal information and perhaps even conned into paying a fee in advance for the paperwork to be couriered to you.

Facebook lotteryIn short, it's a scam. You never entered a Facebook lottery - so why do you think you've won one? Remember - you cannot win a lottery you haven't entered.

Lottery scams are not new, but they continue to occur because there are plenty of vulnerable people at risk of handing over their personal information or giving money to scammers in advance of their promised winnings.

Make sure that you keep informed about the latest scams spreading fast across Facebook and other internet attacks. Join the Sophos page on Facebook, where over 140,000 people regularly share information on threats and discuss the latest security news.

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33 Responses to Beware Facebook lottery email scams!

  1. Thank God Graham wrote "...Fabian in Nairobi" and not "...Mark in Nigeria". It feels good to know that not everyone has fallen for the scam stereotypes about Nigerians. I am Nigerian and we are just like every other person out there: hardworking, nice and of course like every other national, some crime occur. Meanwhile...
    This article is very important as it is ridiculous when people fall for such scams when they never entered a lottery in the first place. I just shared this article in the hope that it will save some *vulnerable* folks out there. Please, after working hard for your money, don't throw it away trying to multiply it.
    Thanks nakedsecurity.

    • Beth · 839 days ago

      Thank God, I didn't fall for this as well. There is a woman who messages me everyday about getting money from me, to send to Nigeria, for claims to a lottery winning, lol.
      I have told her countless times that this is a scam, and why its a scam. Oh how she promises it isn't lmao, she is getting hard up, so it seems. I have received countless emails already from the fed ex person in Nigeria lol, oh an agent. Then a an email from Mark Zuckerburg, or so they make it seem like its from him. Right, they don't give an inch to claim such prizes lol. Well, she said, I was warned not to tell anyone about this. I went to a live site and let a lawyer know about this, but hey they wanted money as well, so no reply there. I was told not to go to the FBI, because they are aware of this wow! Think I might try the attorney generals office if they don't stop bugging me.
      Since when, do you pay for a lottery winning? You normally pay the IRS and any taxes due right when you win, not sending money grams or such. I would like to know who or where I could send my emails in order to catch these people. Any Ideas? Thanks for reading. Guest

  2. Graphiclineweb · 911 days ago

    Good to see you back in wordpress.com "Readomatic". Missed the convenient articles.

  3. Guest · 908 days ago

    and to think they have a london address? hello. facebook is a US company.

  4. John Smith · 901 days ago

    Yes. This scam is quite real. A friend received such an email and naturally ignored it. Obviously you win a lottery only if you buy tickets and enter in.

  5. I have received a total of 6x different 'lottery win' offerings over the past year alone from nokia to now facebook. I ask you what will they think of next. And how do they get our email & cell numbers in the 1st place?
    Annoyed

  6. Brian · 702 days ago

    People are idiots you don't just get money handed to you on a silver platter with out playing the lotto.

  7. Linda Monin · 684 days ago

    I got a e-mail from to Tom Charlse representing Mark Guttenberg, asking to send $300.00 to Federal Express ( John Davies) so they could deliver my lotto winnings.
    NO WAY.

    • Lynette · 629 days ago

      Thanks I was searching for hours on this lottery thing. Then I read you post and b/c you put the exact names of the people who are contacting me!!! Thank you so much. I would never have given them that kinda money!!! but, it's kinda funny and sad at the same time. There are ppl out there that would have given them money!!! SAD!!!

  8. mary baker · 659 days ago

    i was contacted by a person on my facebook friends list that i had wone part of a big lottery prise facebook lottery and would not explane anything just wanted me to clame my prise what is this ?

  9. Connie Mosel · 659 days ago

    Just received a Friend request from a Brian Terry telling me that I had won 600,000 in USD from the face book lottery. All I had to do was send 500 Dollars to have it transferred to me. I told him that if I ad won something it shouldn't cost me anything to get the prize. I told him I was broke and he stopped chatting! BEWARE

    • Cassandra · 628 days ago

      i was sent the same thing saying i had won $600,000, only they told me it was $225 to get it in three days, $285 to get it in 2 days, and $310 for 24 hour delivery... WOW!! This right here will tell you it's fake, i mean defferent delivery charges. Trust me everyone, these people can be kind of convincing, but it is definately a BIG SCAM, so just ignore it and go on with your day... They will try to send you emails saying its from fedex delivery service desk and some from facebook payment department. These people are just lowlifes who dont want to get a real job so they try to scam others out of money!!

  10. Edwige Bingue · 643 days ago

    I just received this notice!

    William Robert
    3:03pm Jul 18

    This is to inform you that you have won a prize money of Ninty thousands dollars {$90,000.00 USD} on the on going Facebook Lottery Jackpot.All participant were selected through a computer random integrated system drawn in 15 million E-mail address on facebook.com.

  11. mark · 607 days ago

    yea i got the same thing; claiming that a computer at FB picked me out at random. they didn't ask me for any money just wanted my name and address,etc. i did a search under "FB lottery" and that's how i got here on this site. i knew it was a scam but i was interested on how many complaints there are, out there. evidently there are different variations of this scam because some ask for a processing fee and some, like the one i got, just asks for into.

  12. Duane · 603 days ago

    I just got a e-mail like this saying I won $600.000.00 ya right first of all I never entered a Facebook lottery. They even had a ticket number, reference number and serial number, and the guy I was to contact name is Patrick Widen.

  13. john · 590 days ago

    Heck, I'm not even getting e-mails for this. I get someone on my facebook page saying I won and all I have to do is give them my e-mail address. Well here it is-upyours@biteme.com

  14. guest · 581 days ago

    just got an email where i was the lucky winner..... glad that i google ,,even if i didnt believe a word what they wrote..i deleted it right away and then went back to see the names and now im here reading this.... what a scam....

  15. sherry · 558 days ago

    I got the same thing this week on my friends chat list on facebook. The man name Bruce James said he was a agent from powerball lotto, Ohio, USA. And said i won a sum of FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS . He ask me did i wont cash or check. I told him cash.He told me i would have to the main office in texas and i would need a valid passport and visa. And if i fly it would cost me $8000 to get home on. He never would give me the address in texas. Then he said he could send it UPS and i would need to pay $500. then he change it and told me to send the money by werstern union. He Told me his boss name is Sandra Higgins, 3221 SW 186th ct., Dunnellion fl 34421. What a joke , that is a home up for sale for $66,500. 2 bedroom and one bath. So if you see this person dont accept his friends request cause he is a scam.

  16. (ahmad bashir) · 557 days ago

    I have received different mails that i have won the Lottery.Our residence is in the different cities of Pakistan Rawalpindi, Karachi. Permanently i am residing at Shorkot City.
    I have send more than 10 mails on the said addresses but still i am far away from the said amount of lottery who will tell what is the right way and from where i shall get that amount.There is an other winner with the same name how can this possible 2 winners of same email ID.
    Is there any person that will assist me at this matter.
    if there any person then please reply me.
    Ahmad Bashir

  17. david · 547 days ago

    I won $600.000 dollars from the facebook lottery, at least thats what the offical sent me through my e-mail. Then I got another e-mail telling me that the officals were scamming in another country, got caught with 3 boxes of money with my name, address, phone# on them. They told me that I in fact I won $7.5 million dollars, wanted me to verify myself by scanning my birth certificate, proof were I lived phone#, and e-mail address. I'm glad I checked around and heard about these scams. Otherwise, I could of been scammed!!!! What gave away their scam was that I dont have a facebook set up!!!!!!!

  18. I got one also And where did I enter for this so called winning ???

    Thanks....... Mark Nichter

    On Nov 4, 2012, at 6:42 AM, United Nations Trust Fund wrote:

    You won $650,500.00 USD to claim provide us with this details.
    Full Name:.....................
    Address:.......................
    Phone Number:..................
    Country:......................then they want money sent for del. Do not believe what ya read !!!!!

  19. tonya · 508 days ago

    Who is the ceo of Facebook?

  20. rajiv · 492 days ago

    someone msg me also.

    here his msg:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am an agent attached with the Facebook Lottery
    program which is aimed at rewarding all Facebook
    Users and as part of the recent ongoing Lottery, your
    Name and email address emerge as a lucky winner for
    this month.. Winners are selected randomly through
    an electronic ballot system and all facebook users are
    automatically entered for this draw with thier name
    and email address.
    I am sending this message from our headquarters
    here in Texas. I am here to
    deliver a message to you. I'm here to tell you that you
    luckily won the Power ball/ Facebook Lottery for
    this month and the Power ball Lottery Foundation has
    agreed to give you the sum of HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS
    Your Ticket Number is: P786475604545 188 87 042
    with serial number: 07/043/39/50/26/90 /... I will be
    looking forward to hear from you. Drew the winning..
    Note that your Certificate of Winning is being
    processed and you will be shown if you request for
    it.... It serves as a solid proof that you actually won the
    money package....
    REPLY THIS MESSAGE WITH YOUR FULL NAME, HOME
    ADDRESS,MOBILE NUMBER AND YOUR E MAIL ADDRESS TO CLAIM
    YOUR WINNING....... CONGRATULATIONS ONCE
    AGAIN !!!

    its true or a scam ???

  21. LOUISA · 481 days ago

    yes its all a big scam and unfortunately im one of the idiots that fell for it his name is Bobby Bill I am posting this to let everyone know ITS A SCAM !!!! this bloke constntly rings me and messages me . I will tell you the only reason why i did maybe something for you to look out for. THIS PERSON HACKED INTO ONE OF MY FRIENDS MADE OUT IT WAS THEM AND TOLD ME THEY RECIEVED MONEY AND TO DO IT AND ASSURED ME I WILL GET MY MONEY IN 6 HRS DELIVERED TO YR DOOR ALL I NEEDED TO DO WAS PAY 800 I TOOK THE CHEAPER OPTION VIA BANK IT COST ME 600 PAID THAT WAS ASKED FOR MY RECEIPT NUMBER DID THAT , THEN OK SIT BAK YR MONEY WILL BE IN YR BANK 4 HRS LATER I RING BAK NO MONEY HE SAID SORRY YOU NEED TO DEPOSIT ANOTHER 200 AND WE WILL DELIVER TO YR DOOR OK PAID ANOTHER 200 OK , THEN TOLD GO HOME AND RELAX WE WILL BE THERE SOON , RANG BAK , SORRY IM AT CUSTOMS THEY WONT RELEASE CASH I NEED ANOTHER 1000 , ARE YOU F..KN KIDDING THATS ME ITS TIME TO BAIL SAD BUT VERY VERY TRUE LOOK OUT . YES IM A FOOL FOR LETTING THIS HAPPEN AND IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE AS TO WHY IM POSTING THIS COMMENT AS IM WRITING HE IS STILL RINGING ME TRYING TO TELLME HE HAS THE MONEY

  22. ron · 481 days ago

    yes i recieved one of those as well, but mine was on my fb messenger from a mark zuckerberg & mark steven representing fb lottery, i nearly got sucked in, but these people can't even spell their own names for god's sake, what i would like to know, is how this guy or guys got into my fb messages..

  23. Gilda Hagood · 455 days ago

    Yes!!, I have been contacted with this scam!!!!

  24. Eileen Swayn · 449 days ago

    I just recieved this email. Is it a scam?
    JANUARY 26 3.31pm
    CONGRATULIONS!!!
    We really appreciate you for joining FACEBOOK and for been one of our 2012 Anniversary lucky wimmers. This is a notification from Facebook World Lottery game that was played for you with your FACEBOOK email. We randomly selected FACEBOOK emails and a raffle was held.

    You are so lucky to win the sum of $500,00.00 with a brand new Nissan Truck from the Lottery game in the month of Jan, 2013. Congratulations!!!
    This is real and I am your claims agent. Get back to me ASAP with your claims number ************.
    January 29
    hello
    your winning money is ready to be delivered to you. This is from a JOHN SMART

  25. Latoya Georges · 400 days ago

    So Im Assuming This is a Scam Too ?????

    FACEBOOK ONLINE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY
    FROM: THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT.
    INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD.
    CATEGORY: 2ND

    CONGRATULATIONS FROM FACEBOOK!

    We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded annual Final draws held on the (10th March 2013) for this NEW YEAR by Facebook group in cash Promotion to encourage the usage of Facebook users worldwide, your javascript:void(0) Name was among the 20 Lucky winners who won $600.000.00USD (Six Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) each on the Facebook group promotion Award Attached to ticket number (***********) and Ref No (************) Serial Number (***************).

    The online draws was Conducted by a random selection of emails, you were picked by an Advanced automated random computer search from the Facebook in order To claim your $600.000.00USD the lottery program which is a new innovation by Facebook is aimed at saying A BIG THANK YOU to all our users for making Facebook their number one means to connect, communicate, relate and hook up with their families and friends over the years.

    This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program by some participants and Scam artists All participants selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over 20,000 companies' and 30,000,000 individuals' email addresses and names from all over the world. This promotional program takes place every three years. You have to be Rest assured that this is Real and Legitimate and there are Some Scam artists around...Thanks to the FBI...216 of them have been arrested... The software corporation to encourage some few individuals with website and email addresses promoted this lottery.

    Your name was selected in a raffle that was made 10th March 2013 so we need your fast response so that we can proceed with the delivery of your fund.

    You are required to contact our dispatch dept via email ( facebook.dpt@outlook.com ) with information below in order for us to complete your winning certificate and for further information
    regarding the disbursement of your lottery win.

    FULL NAME:
    FULL CONTACT ADDRESS:
    MOBILE PHONE NUMBER:
    MARITAL STATUS AND AGE:
    NATIONALITY / COUNTRY:
    TICKET NUMBER:
    REF NUMBER:
    SERIAL NUMBER:
    YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS:

    To avoid unnecessary delays and complications please remember to quote your reference and batch numbers in all correspondences. Furthermore, if there is any change in email address please contact us on time

    Note: Do not reply to these Face Book Account for security purpose reply to the payment department in charge and if you are not interested please do not bother to reply.

    CONGRATULATIONS ONCE AGAIN FROM FACEBOOK!

    Regards,
    Patrick Widen
    Promo Coordinator.

  26. Clarence · 127 days ago

    got a message from a person on FB that I recently friended because we are in the same group on FB (internet marketing group) She informed me that I won a lottery! She told me who to contact and I did. The person who I contacted told me that I need to send her money. At first it was a $1000 then I told her I don't have that kind of money she told me $500. I told her that I would send her the money next week. She gave me the address to send it but I never did send the money because after doing some research on it, the lottery winnings if they are over a certain amount they automatically take out 25% to pay for the taxes. So why should I send her money on it? I realized that it is just another scam.

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About the author

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, and veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.