Fraud: Are you feeling lucky? Mr and Mrs Bayford think you are (updated)
Gillian and Adrian Bayford (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com) want to give you one and a half million pounds and say you should "count yourself one of the lucky ones." Yeah, right.
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The thing is that Adrian and Gillian Bayford are real people, they did win GBP148.6 million on the Euromillions Lottery in August this year. They immediately told reporters that they would use their new found wealth to help people who needed it, pointing out that they had been struggling financially and knew others in the same position. And now they are victims of identity fraud as criminals have created e-mail accounts in their names with companies that do not verify the identity of those opening accounts.
The fraudsters have taken the comment about goodwill and turned it onto a scam, citing in their e-mail spam the couple's good samaritan comments.
By using the names of real people and a fake e-mail address with Yahoo's UK service - and even linking to a story about the couple on Yahoo's news service, the scam gains credibility.
But it is a scam. Anyone who receives the e-mail below - or anything like it - should be aware: you are not on the Bayford's list of needy people and if you reply you will lose money in an advance fee fraud.
The fraudulent e-mail:
We are writing to inform you that My wife and I won One hundred and Fourty eight million six hundred and fifty six thousand pounds (£148,656,000 GBP) Euromillions jackpot on the 10.08.12 and have voluntarily decided to donate the sum of £1,500,000.00 GBP to you as part of our own charity project to improve the lot of individuals all over the world. On the receipt of this email, you should count yourself as one of the lucky individuals/recipients. More so, do get back to me with your Name, Age, Tel, Country so that we can send your details to the payout bank. Kindly visit the web pages for further verification: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/new-%C2%A3148-6m-euromillions-winners-adrian-and-gillian-bayford-celebrated-by-eating-pizza.html
UPDATE 2012 11 21
The scam has been redistributed, using the same subject and outgoing and reply addresses but with a different text.