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ESET Reveals that Name of Steve Ballmer Exploited in 419 Scam Email

According to security experts of security firm ESET, Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, has been in News headlines ever since he announced his retirement which has prompted scammers to exploit his famousness in one of their online fraud schemes. Experts of ESET have identified 419 scam targeting French-speaking users.

The hoax emails tells recipients that their email address selected on certain criteria have won 250,000 Euros ($342,000) in a Microsoft lottery.

Email recipients are instructed to reply to hoax emails with their personal details and at a later stage of the scam victims are most likely told to wire some amount of money. A copy of winning ticket containing a picture of Microsoft's Owner, Bill Gates and the company emblem of Microsoft is attached with messages to look more genuine.

However, there are some tell-tale signs in this fake email which can be easily noticed. Firstly, name of Bill Gates is erroneously spelt as "Bill Gate" and secondly, the content of the email as "the lottery claims to be sponsord by Microsoft" wherein the 'Sponsored' is spelt wrongly as "Sponsord".

Security experts analyzing the ongoing scam email highlight that the scammers have not thought much on these emails because they have listed wrong address of 'Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation' in spite of the reality that this is not classified information.

You need to follow some simple steps to avoid falling victim to online fraud: Firstly, you must understand that you cannot win any cash prize from a lottery in which you have not participated. Secondly, you must observe lot of spelling mistakes in such emails as in the above case which is sure-shot sign of fraudulent message because genuine lottery companies have good editors and copywriters to write letters properly. Thirdly, never click on links in unsolicited emails or open any attachments even if they contain real name or logo of a company like Microsoft in the above case. However, if you have already been victimized by such scam emails then report to law enforcement agencies immediately, without losing any precious time, to help preventing the scam from spreading.

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