MasterCard Lottery – Scam or Identity Theft?
Having personally received several emails from MasterCard World Lottery 2013, it was time to go in and take a look at what these folks were targeting and how many bought into it. The fact that the emails are usually scattered with MasterCard logos, they do look very real. Adding to the credibility factor is the use of the name Microsoft as the mechanism for the selection of email addresses. Stop! It is either a scam or a form of identity theft!
How Does MasterCard Lottery Work?
People receive an email from out of the blue claiming they have won a jackpot sum of money. This usually involves using the BB (blind copy) which means they’ve sent it out to many different people. The currency ranges include British Pounds, Euros, and US Dollars. They are asking for you to send personal details to process your claim. It all looks fairly upfront except in some cases where the spelling and grammar make reading through the email very difficult. They usually acquire email addresses either from mass spam sellers or hacking someone’s computer.
The MasterCard Lottery Sting
Upon sending the information, people will usually receive an email back advising that there are some upfront costs to be paid. These are processing fees that can include insurance, banking fees, delivery costs, and tax. Some use western union while others set up a bank account or ask for a credit card for these fees. The email could come from a courier company or an individual.
Name Game at MasterCard Lottery
This scam can come under a variety of names including MasterCard/Microsoft INTERNATIONAL MEGA JACKPOT, MasterCard Lottery 2013, MasterCard Mega Jackpot, and MasterCard International Bank Promo. They will try different combinations to try and make the lottery more credible.
Why Do People Buy It?
These scammers are smart. They use credible phone numbers, and addresses and in some cases mirror emails that look believable. With telephone numbers, they can get a number in to say the UK which automatically diverts to another number. It means you think you are talking to someone in the UK but they could be anywhere. With the ability to set up domains online, anyone can create what looks like a credible email address though in most cases these folks are using free email providers like Hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail. Lastly, many read the snail mail address and figure that since they published an address, it must be real. It isn’t!
MasterCard Lottery Scam or Identity Theft
In most cases, this is a scam to get small amounts of money for processing fees of some sort. The more serious scammers are into identity theft and will use the information you provide to register credit cards (and run up big accounts), access bank accounts, and/or create debts on your behalf. Then, they simply disappear.
Safekeeping at MasterCard Lottery
One of the weird things is most of the emails include instructions on keeping your winning information to yourself to avoid theft and misplaced information. I personally found the comment “avoid too many talks” illiterately amusing except that some people will buy into this. They also recommend being careful in communicating with the person who sent it as misconduct could null and void your claim. Of course, they are trying to ensure that you don’t discuss this scam with anyone who might persuade you not to participate. If we’re going to talk about safekeeping and Master Card Lottery, let’s talk about hitting the delete button on your computer.
Consumer Complaints on MasterCard Lottery
The complaints and warnings online are so numerous, it’s really sad how many people continue to be taken in by the MasterCard Lottery scam. Consumerfraudreporting.org, hoax-slayer.com, and phishing.vcu.edu are only a few of the different sites available with good information on the examples of these scams. Sadly, they seem to be increasing and not decreasing.
The Bottom Line
If you receive an email that claims it is offering a win from MasterCard under any name combination, delete the email. Do not answer it! MasterCard does not run any form of lottery in conjunction with any company much less Microsoft. Whether they are after your money or after your identity, protect your dollars and yourself, and do not respond. I don’t even bother reading them anymore but simply DELETE, DELETE, DELETE!