Here's news of another scam that apparently has going around for a while. As with many of the others, they're perpetrated in the name of a well-known company whose brand is trusted—Coca-Cola. Con artists believe this will attract more victims, and unfortunately, they're right.
I received the following email on December 8, 2014:
This is to inform you that your E-mail Address was selected among our lucky winner to receive a Cash Prize of £1,000,000.00 (ONE MILLION GREAT BRITAIN POUNDS) in the ongoing 2014 Coca-Cola Company Mega Cash Prize Promo.
Fill in the Information below and Send back to us for your vetting process:
1. Full Name:
2. Full Address:
8. Winning Email:
9. Valid Phone Mobile Number:
10. Scan copy of your valid Identity Proof:
Your online coordinator,Bruno Collins (Mr.)Tel. No.: +44 701 0054 837
UK Coca-Cola Company
As you can see, this message has all the hallmarks of a classic email lottery scam including telling the recipient that they've won a huge prize and will need to send back their personal information in order to receive it or what this scammer calls a 'vetting process."
Companies don't randomly pick email addresses to enter into a lottery. This is a phishing attempt for your personal info to use for identify theft purposes. A quick perusal of the Rumors and Facts page at the official Coca-Cola website shows an example of one of these types of emails dating back to 2005, so this has been going on for at least 10 years.
Apparently, this is just one of many types of cons using the Coca-Cola brand as a premise to draw people in. Others include notification of cash aid from the Coca-Cola Foundation for education and/or business purposes, as well as claims that the recipient's photo has been chosen to appear on an advertising billboard but they need to send a sign-up fee for payment for an agent. Promises of fortune and fame are tools of the con artist's trade.
Remember, you can't win if you didn't enter and except for the lottery and game tickets you knowingly purchase, you don't have to pay to win. Visit the Coca-Cola website for more facts about these fraudulent emails.