Consolation Prize from Google no prize at all; phishing scam

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

This one is as phony as the “Google 13th Anniversary Aware.” Don’t fall for it.  google

It seems that the numbers have tapered off for the fake Google Prize that has circulated the email circuits for sometime, so Lawrence Page and Andrew Ferguson have come up with a scheme to catch you off guard in another direction.

WHAM! – Consolation Prize Winning Notice!!!

The email text goes on to describe how you missed out, but don’t stop reading. “This promotion was set-up to encourage the active users of the Google search engine and the Google ancillary services.”

It goes on to say since you are a Google user, we want you to continue to be a Google user by giving you a prize. What does that mean?

All you need to do is fill out the information sheet below: Name, address, phone number, nationality , sex, occupation, age.

And, of course, you’ll get a grand prize of $950,000.00 (pounds, since it’s headquartered in London).

This is just the latest among scams that target people who let themselves to be swept away by dreams of free money. Some offers arrive via computer; others enter the home through direct mail or the telephone. In addition to phony sweepstakes announcements, BBB report that consumers are receiving

  • suspicious foreign lottery solicitations (from UK, Australia, Canada, Spain and other countries) advising winners to send money orders for hundreds of dollars;
  • notifications of cash awards from international security firms or disbursement offices that demand payment up-front to cover entry, judging or postage fees; and
  • phone calls from people claiming to be representatives of reputable retailers, who want to “reward” loyal customers with special gift certifications or cash cards, after payment of a delivery fee.

It’s not real. Google is not giving away money. Here’s the text BBB received:

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