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Online Security - Spam Emails

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Online Security - Spam Emails

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HP has recently received numerous reports from individuals who have received spam emails claiming they have won a laptop and cash prize from a "Hewlett Packard Promotion".

HP is not sponsoring such a contest. The email is an attempt by criminals to elicit money from unsuspecting victims. Unfortunately, the source of this “lotto fraud” is very difficult to trace or to stop.

Please do not forward or reply to these scam emails. Instead, delete them without opening them and block the sender’s email address. The fraudsters did not get your email address from HP. We do not share customers’ personal information with non-HP third parties, except in specific instances described in the company’s online privacy statement.

An example of the type of scam email is given below:

Online Security

Hewlett Packard Company,
Customer Service Department,
Wrights Lane, Kensington
London W85SP, England
United Kingdom,

Reference No: HPC-L/F56-554562.
Batch No: HPC-993-2008.

Dear Sir/Madam,

It is obvious that this notification came to you as a surprise, but please find time to read it carefully as we congratulate you over your success inthe following official publication of results of the e-mail electronic online draw held by Hewlett Packard { hp }.

In promotion to our Hardware & Software Products {H.S.P.} your email address emerged as one of the online winning emails in the 1st category and therefore attracted 2 hp Pavilion Laptops and a cash award of £1,000.000.00 (One Million Pounds). Our winnings are arranged in three categories with different prizes according to each category.

Therefore we write to officially notify you of this award and also direct you to contact the following department for your claims award. And in other to facilitate your claiming process, you are require to send them the following personal information for your {2 hp Pavilion laptops delivery and cash payment processing}.

1} Your Full Names:................
{2} Contact Address:................
{3} Telephone Number:.............
{4} Fax numbers:.....................
{5} Nationality/Country:............
{6} Date of Birth:.....................
{7} Age/Sex:..........................
(8) Occupation:......................
{9} Choose your prefered mode of remittance of your winnings: ............................

{A} Come down to United Kingdom to pick up your Cheque & 2 hp Pavilion laptops.
{B} Courier delivery of your winning cheque and 2 hp Pavilion laptops.

*************************************************************************
Hewlett Packard Promotion Department,
% Mr. Broderick Edward John
Tel :+44 (70) 45725495

Email: edwardjohn001@live.com
***************************************************************************
This draw is made in other to prmote our 'hp product and services' and on behalf of the Intel Group and other International Hewlett Packard Companies.

We say congratulations to you.

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Broderick Edward John.
Hewlett Packard Lottery Promotion Department
Pro. Coordinator.

Many of the key points that identify a scam email are used in this example:
  • misspellings
  • point of contact for the contest uses a free email address
  • address given does not match any HP facilities in London
  • incorrect HP legal entity used
  • names do not match any HP personnel
  • company information is incorrect (e.g. HP is not part of the “Intel Group”)

Prevention Tips

Similar internet schemes are prevalent, and anyone can receive these on their work or personal email accounts. Here are some tips on how to protect your personal information and prevent becoming a victim:

Lotto Frauds

  • If the lottery winnings appear too good to be true, they probably are
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside the UK
  • Be suspicious if you do not remember entering a lottery or contest
  • Be cautious if you receive a telephone call stating you are the winner in a lottery
  • Beware of lotteries that charge a fee prior to delivery of your prize
  • Be wary of demands to send additional money to be eligible for future winnings.
The Metropolitan Police’s web site has further advice on what to do if you receive a lotto fraud email. Click here to go to their site .

Phishing/Spoofing

  • Be very suspicious of any unsolicited email requesting personal information
  • Avoid filling out forms in email messages that ask for personal information
  • Always compare the link in the email to the link that you are actually directed to
  • Log on to the official website by typing the site’s URL into your internet browser, instead of "linking" to it from an unsolicited email
  • Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the email to verify if the email is genuine.

Spam

  • Don't open spam. Delete it unread
  • Never respond to spam as this will confirm to the sender that it is a "live" email address
  • Have a primary and secondary email address - one for people you know and one for all other purposes
  • Avoid giving out your email address unless you know how it will be used
  • Never purchase anything advertised through an unsolicited email.
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