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BellaOnline's Contests & Sweepstakes Editor

Scam Alerts Collection

Lottery scams are part and parcel of the internet. Unfortunately, they're still effective which is why they're still in use. All of these are online based either directly through email or communication through social media. The list with links to more info below is a sampling of a few of the most well-known scams which will probably keep growing if the pattern stays the same.

BMW Award: This famous auto manufacturer's name has been used to advance this con for years. Recipients usually receive an email claiming to be from what appeared to be a reputible email with news of a cash or car prize award.

Coca-Cola: In this article, I detail an email from the so-called UK Coca-Cola Company informing me of a mega cash prize I've won. This isn't the only type of scam using the Coca-Cola name. According to the company's official website, there are examples of cons going back to 2005 and it seems to still be going on.

Facebook: The popular social networking platform Facebook is a ripe environment for scammers trying to fool gullible users into sharing their personal information and cash. Variations of the advance fee lottery scam scheme have been making the rounds for the past few years. In this piece, I give tips for reporting this scam if you're contacted by a con artist and keeping yourself safe from Facebook predators.

Microsoft: This is another phishing attempt. Emails are purportedly sent by members of the Microsoft Lottery Team which does not exist. You're asked to verify your identity by sending personal information or you may be asked to send money in order to cover the cost of shipping your prize.

All of these are clearly fake, though some still fall for them. Unless the companies are holding legitimate sweepstakes that you've entered, they will not send you emails about prize wins. See the Contests and Sweepstakes Safety Tips section for ideas to avoid phishing scams and other identify theft attempts. Remember, stay safe and good luck.

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