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BBB says - Beware of Fake Coca-Cola Lottery Promotion Emails

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Northeast California (US) warned consumers of Coca-Cola, the world renowned soft-drink Company), of a lottery promotion scam email, reported redbluffdailynews.com in the third week of October 2013.

Notably, the BBB is a well-known and respected non-profit organization that provides free reviews on business reliability of companies in the U.S.

An Oroville (Northeast California) woman received a fake email informing her that she has won a Lottery promotion of Coca-Cola in the United States.

The scam e-mail asked for personal information that included her residential address, mobile number to enable her to claim her winning money.

The woman said that this e-mail in the beginning looked legitimate as it used giant corporate names like Coca-Cola, Texaco and Chevron.

BBB says that sweepstakes and lottery scams like this follow a predictable pattern.

An unsolicited email, phone call, or letter informs a victim that he has won a prize and requests the victim to send a little amount of money to cover up upfront charges or taxes. BBB explains that victims send the money but never get their supposed prize money.

Coca-Cola has acknowledged the use of their company's name in e-mail scams like this.

So, what should you do if you receive a lottery scam message asking an advance fee like the one from Coca-Cola in the above case?

The BBB suggests some simple security tips. Firstly, if you receive a letter, email or text message saying you have won a prize in a lottery or sweepstakes in which you did not even enter, please do not reply and simply ignore it.

Secondly, if you are asked to send personal details like home address and mobile number to collect your prize as in the above case, please understand that the email is fake.

Thirdly, if you are carrying a winning lottery ticket, you have to inform the lottery (the lottery will not notify you; not by email, phone or mail) like the Coca-Cola is notifying the Oroville-based woman in the above case.

However, if you have already given your personal information then you could be a victim of identity theft and in such case you need to contact Police immediately like the Federal Trade Commission (US).

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