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Spam Promises Riches, Delivers Expensive Balloons


You know what I like? Free money. You know what else I like? Free cars. You know what I like best of all? Balloons.

If only there was a piece of email spam relevant to my interests where I could combine all three!

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This piece of spam from what appears to be an electronics company claims you’ve won $490,000 and a free car to make “an impact on society”. They also give you a login, which is used on the website:

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The popup box presents a somewhat creepy “Welcome” picture, complete with what appears to be an Emmy Award in the bottom right hand corner.

“If you are one of our lucky winners you should have been provided with a username/password via email. Please use it to login below”

Logging into the website will take the end-user to the following portal which displays information about the prizes available to the “six lucky winners”:

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Yes, they do ask you to click on the balloons floating across the screen to claim your prize. Once you’ve done this, you’re taken to a page asking for a large slice of personal information including name, address, income, job, marital status, phone number and pretty much anything else you can think of:

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In a nice touch, you also get the opportunity to tell them exactly how you’ll “spend your winnings towards development of yourself, society and our company”.

Wait…you just gave me $490,000 and now you want me to buy you new office chairs? I’d be lying if I said this made any sense, but please be warned before you go signing your life away to a random website offering a huge stack of cash and a free car: there are numerous examples out there as to why you shouldn’t bother with this one.

The not-very-funny gag here is that once contact has been established and the victim has sent over their personal info, the individuals behind the “prize money” will mention that the victim needs to pay $698 to enable the money transfer. Typically the “winner” is told to use payment methods common in advance fee fraud to send the money, and should that actually take place there’s a good chance the $698 is gone forever. Here’s an unfortunate person who claims this happened to them – don’t get yourself tangled up in shenanigans such as the one above, it’s likely to cost you a lot of time, effort and cold hard cash in the long run.

Even if they do have balloons.

Christopher Boyd (Thanks to Robert for finding this one)

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