About Google Winner Email Scam

Google Winner Email Scam refers to a spam email campaign that claims Google is giving you a prize of £950,000.000 or some other sum. It’s a rather ridiculous campaign and we highly doubt anyone will fall for it, but it aims to obtain users’ personal information. The email goes into detail about how Google Inc. has organized a sweepstake and has chosen you as one of ten winners, and in order for you to receive the money, you are to contact the UK’s Foreign Payment Bureau or Google’s Payment Coordinator (depending on which version of the email you get) with your personal information. The email also claims you have passed all the requirements and can have the sum transferred to your bank account, can pick it up in cash, or have a courier deliver the cheque. Google Winner Email Scam

This spam campaign is the perfect example of too good to be true. It’s so unbelievably amazing, to the extent that it’s obviously untrue, even if you do not notice all other signs pointing to it being a scam. Nevertheless, we feel there will be people who may believe the email to be legitimate. Thus, it’s important to point out that such emails will never be real. They are always scams, merely attempts to either infect computers with malware or phish personal information. One version of this scam wants you to contact Google’s Payment Coordinator with your full name, contact address, phone number, nationality, occupation, age, martial status, preferred mode of prize remittance, and answers to questions about whether you have won a lottery before and how you feel as a winner. That is a lot of information, which scammers can use to later scam you further. Or they can sell the information to others. Another version will ask you to click on a link and put in your login credentials, and if you do, you’re giving away highly sensitive information to scammers.

All versions of this spam campaign we have encountered claim that the email is sent by Larry Page, the co-founder of Google. He is also referred to as Google’s CEO in the email, which has not been the case since 2015. So that is one obvious mistake that gives the email away. The email also claims that you have passed all the requirements, statutory obligation, verification and validations. After all that, you’d think they would know your name and not refer to you as a “Google User”. But they do refer to you as that because scammers do not know your name, and that is another clear sign that you are dealing with a scam.

If you are wondering why you were chosen as a winner, the email claims it’s “due to your active use of Google services”, and it hopes that “you will continue to be active in your patronage to Google and its Products”. In one version of the email, you are also advised to not reveal that you have won to anyone until you have claimed the prize. Supposedly, winners often reveal to friends about the winnings, only to have those friends try to claim it in their stead. Since this has supposedly happened numerous times, Google Promotion Award Team has decided that any discovered double claim will result in the canceling of that particular winning, meaning the actual winner would not be able to get the prize.

How to differentiate legitimate emails from scams like Google Winner Email Scam

Besides the obviously too good to be true promises, there are other signs that give away scam emails. One of the first things you should take notice of is whether your name is used in the greeting. Whether it’s an email from the bank, the post office or Google, if you use their services, your name will automatically be put in the greeting. If you are addressed as User, Member, Customer, etc., that should set off alarm bells in your head.

Some emails are more subtle than this one, thus may seem more legitimate. But even then, there are ways to spot scams. For whatever reason, scam emails usually contain grammar mistakes. Some may be very glaring, while others may contain less-obvious mistakes. For example, Google Winner Email Scam may sound a bit awkward but mistakes aren’t glaringly obvious. One example is the usage of “its'” (with the apostrophe at the end) instead of “its”. Realistically, an email informing you about your almost 1 million dollar winnings should be mistake-free.

Emails asking you to click on links are particularly suspicious. If you get one and it puts pressure on you to click on the link, you should be careful. If the email seems to be from your bank, you should instead manually log in to your online banking account and check whatever the email is about. Same with online shopping accounts, like Amazon and eBay.

There are two things to remember when you encounter emails claiming you have won a prize. First of all, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Second, you can’t win a contest if you don’t actually enter one. Remember this, and delete Google Winner Email Scam from your inbox.

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