Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global
network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have warned
internet users of a new email scam that pretends to be a lottery
notification from the makers of the hit TV gameshow "Who wants to
be a millionaire".
The email claims that the recipient has won £800,000 in a
lottery run by the TV show which has been a hit around the world,
and asks for the claimant to reply with their personal information
in order for the winnings to be transferred.
The email poses as a bogus lottery notification
from the makers of "Who wants to be a millionaire"
"This scam has nothing to do with the real makers of the hit TV
show, but has been designed by criminals to prey on the vulnerable.
It may claim to offer you a fortune in prize money, but the
scammers behind the scheme don't want to give you that," said
senior technology consultant for Sophos. "The chance of an
unsolicited lottery notification like this being genuine are much
less than the 50:50. You don't need to phone a friend to work that
The email tells recipients to contact a yahoo.co.uk email
address, and also lists two UK 070 personal phone numbers for
people who wish to make contact via telephone or fax. Last week
Sophos revealed that
070 telephone numbers are frequently used by lottery scammers who
can redirect calls using the system to any phone number in the
"It's time that the British authorities took steps against the
widespread use of 070 telephone numbers by email lottery scammers,"
continued Cluley. "Criminals are scooping up these free 070
personal phone numbers, redirecting them overseas, and using them
to con the British public out of their money and confidential
This week Sophos published its
annual Security Threat Report, which detailed many of the
different disguises used by email scammers in their attempts to
commit identity theft and swindle money out of internet users.
Sophos recommends companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend businesses
from the threats of spam, spyware and malware. In addition,
employees should be educated about the importance of safe