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Online Lotteries Offer Phishing Jackpots

Coca Cola and Arsenal Football Club have become the latest baits to be used by spammers to lure Internet users into divulging their personal information. Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, has warned users about a lottery notification mail that is supposed to be from Coca Cola. The scam mail titled "COCA COLA PROMOTION" is being spammed out to mail users claiming that the person has won $ 2.5 million. This spurious mail claims that the recipient is only one of the 50 winners of the lottery held by Coca Cola, who have been selected randomly after their e-mail addresses were found in various Internet websites.

The e-mail contains the following text:

We happily announce to you the draw of the coca cola International promootion programs held on the 9th of June 2006 in The United Kingdom. Your e-mail address attached to ticket number: 564 75600545-188 with serial number 5388/02 drew the lucky numbers: 31-6-26-13-35-7, which subsequently won you the Promotion in the 2nd category.

You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of US$2,500,000.00 (Two million, five hundred thousand, United States Dollars) in cash credited to file RPC/9080118308/04 made available from a total cash prize of US $125 Million dollars, shared amongst the first Fifty (50) lucky winners in this category.

'Winners' of the lottery are told to call or fax an agent who claims to be working for the soft drinks giant. Sophos has warned computer users that the fraudsters behind this lottery scam campaign are out to make easy money from gullible users.

Another lottery related scam campaign has targeted the fans of the English soccer club Arsenal. The soccer club's website, Arsenal.com, has issued a warning about the ongoing e-mail based scams that have associated themselves with the club's name.

E-mails having the title 'Arsenal Club Lottery' has found their way into inboxes of people stating they are the winners in a lottery campaign run by the club. Arsenal Football Club has told people not to respond to these mails as the club has no intentions or plans to indulge into such promotions.

Users are requested to report such mails to website@arsenal.co.uk and then delete the malicious mails from their e-mail accounts. The mails are being sent from the following e-mail addresses:

All the Internet users are urged to automatically update their virus and spam protection software and run a consolidated solution at the e-mail gateway to defend against viruses and spam. Even though, most people are vary of scams like the ones mentioned above, there still people who fall for these hoax mails and end up losing their money.

Related article: Online Card Fraud Shows Greater Tendency Than Chip and Pin

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