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Friday, February 20, 2004
*See added note at bottom of this post to see the mystery solved (Addendum 23 Feb 2004)
Need your input. I got this email the other day entitled "CONGRATULATIONS 2004 CHELSEA LOTTO WINNER". It read:
Chelsea Lottery Headquarters
11 Sydney Street,
London SW3 6NT
We happily announce to you the draw of the Annual International Lottery Program, held on the 31st of January 2004 in London, UK. Your e-mail address attached to ticket number:3266534 with Serial number 2004/234/72 was drawn as the lucky ticket numbers which subsequently won you the lottery in the International Internet category.
You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of Euros1,000,000.00 (One Million Euros ) credited to file Chel/int/5536622.This is from a total cash prize of Euros10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Euros , shared amongst the first ten (10) lucky winners in this category.
Please note that your winning number falls within our representative office in London as indicated in your play coupon. In view of this, your Euros1,000,000.00 (One Million Euros) would be released to you by our security firm in The UK. Our agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your funds as soon as you contact him.
All participants were selected randomly from World Wide Web site through computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000 companies. This promotion takes place annually.
For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claim has been processed and your winning remitted to you.
Please note that there are several methods of remittance of your winnings which would be communicated to you by our agent. This is a precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and to ensure ease of collection of winnings by winners.
To file for your claim, please contact our agent:
Mr R. Steven
To avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please quote your reference
number in any correspondences with us or our designated agent. Congratulations and thank you for being part of our promotional lottery program.
Mrs Sandra Peacook.
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So I think nothing of it - just another big scam. But I'm intrigued, because I've never heard of this one. So I emailed Mr. Stevens and he responded right back saying it was, indeed, a lottery and I was a winner (sure I am) and that they needed only my name, address, phone number so that they could snail-mail me a confirmation certificate.
I searched the 'net for any Chelsea Lottery scam, but came up with nothing. I found it odd that they only wanted basic info - stuff anyone can get on anyone off of the Internet - no account passwords or numbers or info of any kind. I still didn't think it was legit, but now I wanted to get to the bottom of it. What was going on here.
My Mom & Baret suggested I just send them the basic info and see what they did. I'm not so sure. I visited the Telstra website, from which the email originated, and it is from an Australian ISP. Nothing on there about a Lottery, either. I thought about shooting them an email, since it came from one of their customers but I doubt they could prove it or deny it. Though they may ban the person for sending unsolicited spam...
So my question to you is, what do I do next? If it's some new scam, I'd like to crack it and warn others about it. My last thought is that it is legit - I never entered any kind of contest and why would a company in London want to give some chick from Louisiana, USA, money? No, I don't for a minute hold that it's real. The thing I find odd is that they answered me back - spam is usually generated from some bot, not a specific person. It'd be sweet to crack some wanna-be spamster.
* A thousand thanks to Maury (and Rose) for sending me this link - http://www.spam-site.com/spam-email.shtml. He says if you scroll down to the bottom it comments on this email.
I saw quite a few people coming here searching for it and I realize they probably wanted answers as did I. Here it is folks - a scam just like you thought it was.
You know that guy is STILL emailing me??
Have a GREAT weekend & a fuckin' SUPER MARDI GRAS everyone. I know most of you don't celebrate it, so think of me with King Cake-green envy on Monday & Tuesday when you're sitting at your desks at work and I'm sitting on a street somewhere screaming for beads and getting sloshed. Hey, that's what Mardi Gras' about - don't let anyone tell you different. So, Happy Lundi & Mardi Gras!