Internet users are advised to be on the lookout for bogus Coca Cola lottery emails. The Better Business Bureau and Coca Cola have published alerts on this topic.
The scam emails are entitled something like “The Coca-Cola Award Notification,” “The Coca-Cola Promo Winning Notification,” “The Coca-Cola Worldwide Christmas Promo” or “Notification for Coca-Cola Foundation Cash Aid.”
The emails are designed to look legitimate, but they have nothing to do with Coca Cola. Users who respond to these emails are told that they must pay certain processing fees before they can get the prize.
In most cases, scammers keep asking for money until the victims realize they’ve been duped. At that point, it’s too late to do anything since the money is usually wired to African countries via Western Union, so the payments are difficult to trace.
In order to avoid falling victim to such scams, check the following things in case you come across a suspicious email:
- spelling and grammatical mistakes;
- the email comes from a free email account such as Yahoo!, Hotmail or AOL;
- they ask for personal information.
If you spot any of these signs, you’re likely dealing with a scam. Check out some examples of Coca Cola scam emails:
Variant 1. “This is to notify you of your winning of a sweepstake as sponsored by a group of multi-national companies in North America. Your name attached to the sweepstakes number 021-3316-671 with a serial number of 4157-09 drew the lucky number.”
Variant 2. “We are pleased to inform you of the result of the just concluded annual final draws held on the (18th May, 2006) by Coca-Cola in conjunction with the British American Tobacco Worldwide Promotion.
Your email was among the 20 Lucky winners who won £1,000,000.00 each on the THE COCA\' COLA COMPANY PROMOTION However the results were released on the 20th May, 2006 and your email was attached to ticket number (7PWYZ2006) and ballot number (BT:12052006/20)”
Variant 3. “This is to notify you that you have been chosen By the Board of trustees of theCoca-Cola Foundation based in the U.S.A, as one of the recipients for 2010 Cash Aid for your own personal, educational and business development.”
Variant 4. “THE COCA COLA COMPANY Hong Kong office is Giving Away 1 cars For ‘FREE’!! And cash bonus of $800,000.00. The Company is trying e-mail to e-mail advertising to introduce its products.”