BBC Lottery: Have you won too?

Filed Under: Phishing, Spam

I must be the luckiest person on the planet - I keep winning lotteries!

Here's the latest notification - straight from Aunty Beeb herself, the BBC.

Bogus BBC lottery email

Apparently the BBC is now deciding who has won the lottery based not upon who bought tickets, but instead simply by pulling email addresses out of a hat! That seems so much more efficient than the old way.

You may have thought that there had to be enough people putting a little bit of money *into* the lottery for a small number of people to get a lot *out* of it - but apparently not anymore! Maybe they're just pleased I've been paying the TV license fee for the last twenty years or so.

Now, if you receive an email like this there are probably people out there who will try to convince you that it's a scam, that it wouldn't be a good idea to hand over your name, address, age, mobile number, date of birth (hang on - don't they already have that?) to a complete stranger..

..especially to a complete stranger called "Mr Patetr Thomas" (# You say potato, I say Patetr #). And they may even try to warn you that Scottish screen lovely Jenni Falconer doesn't actually present the Saturday lottery draw on BBC TV, that duty falling to chirpy cheeky chappy Nick Knowles instead.

Jenni Falconer and Nick Knowles

And I must admit I find it hard to confuse the two of them, but I'm sure it's just an administrative mix-up.

After all, Mr Patetr Thomas (# Let's call the whole thing off.. #) is probably a very busy chap. After all, it looks like I'm not the only winner of the £1,000,000.

That's right - there's lots of us. Just look at the subject line:

*** BULK *** Dear E-Mail User

I would like to imagine that there are no Naked Security readers out there who would fall for a scam email like this - but we must recognise that there are people more vulnerable to these sort of con-tricks than ourselves.

Do your bit to make sure that the vulnerable members of your family aren't fooled into believing they are going to win a fortune in a lottery - if they are duped into believing they will be receiving a windfall they might get themselves into an expensive and upsetting pickle.

Naked Security colleague Paul Ducklin recently spoke at a conference dedicated to keeping others from getting ripped off online - especially seniors already on their retirement income, who can least afford it.

You can read more about this heart-wrenching aspect of cybercriminality in his writeup of the event.

As Duck says in his article, "Friends don't let friends get scammed online."

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5 Responses to BBC Lottery: Have you won too?

  1. mark · 1450 days ago

    ive been bombarded with these scams for years, although frusrating you just hit delete, unlike the phone ones from the consumer group, they are driving me insane as they keep ringing week in week out AAAAAAAAAAAAAggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  2. Darren Ellis · 1450 days ago

    How is it possible people are still falling for this kind of thing, have they never heard the very old phrase "if it seems to good to be TRUE then it probably is" or an equally old "there's no such thing as a FREE lunch" come on people wake up and smell the coffee

  3. Charlie Prawn · 1450 days ago

    Actually the UK National Lottery states that they do inform winners of the £1,000,000 raffle via email. Wins in other games are automatically flagged up on the accounts pages of an individual subscriber. For the Raffle you have to check the numbers yourself ... or else await an email from them.

    This difference in approach for the raffle is a big intro for scammers. Perhaps Camelot should reconsider how they inform their customers of winnings in this particular game?

    I understand that the raffle was really a stop-gap measure on the Euro-Lottery to redistribute extra monies that were accumulating in the prize pot from customers purchasing with Sterling as the Euro exchange rate diverged from the Pound. I never really understood why it was so difficult to message any winning customer the way they do with other games ie on their own (password protected) site.

    Then again ... I've never won the £1,000,000 raffle ... perhaps they do both (email and internal message) if you do.

  4. mai · 1449 days ago

    Look at the e-mail address - All for God??? Looks like this Patetr has a bit of Messiah complex going on.

  5. joe · 1188 days ago

    I am in Mexico and I received the message! it is amazing how this people never get tired of scamming. You don´t have to be a genius to see the real deal with this guys. They give you the numbers and pleeease do you really think that is enough, where did you buy it?! no? ups! perhaps some one so generous thought about giving it to you.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, and is a 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. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley