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Google Consolation Prize

How the scam works:

(with video below) We all use email every day. It has become a lifeline for many in fast communication. And Google is a household name; in fact, the phrase “Google it”, meaning to advise someone to research information on their own, was added to the Webster’s Dictionary of Phrases in 2011. But with these ubiquitous technologies comes scammers trying to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. There are a few variations of the scam, but first let's take a closer look at how to verify if the emails you receive are actually coming from the real Google headquarters.

Watch the video below to see how to recognize if an email received from Google is real or not:

How To Verify If A Google Email Is Real Video

In the most recent Google Awards scam, people are receiving an email from crooks with the tagline “WHAM! Consolation Prize Winning Notice!!!” The body of the email goes on to explain that as a frequent Google user, you have just won a consolation prize, for the "Google 13th anniversary draw". The letter is signed by crooks claiming to be Lawrence Page, "Chariman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Google Inc" and Andrew Ferguson, "Google Promotion Board".

The prize is being given, supposedly, to encourage you to continue using Google as your preferred search engine. All that is required for you to claim your prize is to fill out some personal identifying information and send it back. And once you do, you will receive the grand prize of $950,000 pounds. Of course, all you receive for your trouble is the theft of your identity.

google consolation prize scam

This is the content of the fake email:

"This promotion was set-up to encourage the active users of the Google search engine and the Google ancillary services. Hence we do believe with your winning prize, you will continue to be active and patronage to the Google search engine.

Google is now the biggest search engine Worldwide and in effort to make sure that it remains the most widely used search engine, we ran an online e-mail beta test which your email address won 950,000.00 GBP (Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling).

A winning cheque will be issued in your name by Google Promotion Board, and also a certificate of prize claims will be sent along side your winning Cheque. In your best interest to avoid mix up of numbers and names of any kind, we request that you keep the entire details of your award strictly from public notice until the process of transferring your claims has been completed, and your funds remitted to your account.

This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unscrupulous acts by participants/ non participants of this program. Kindly fill-in the verification and fund release form below. (form contains name, address, country, nationality, sex, occupation, age, etc).

Please contact your claims agent immediately for due processing and remittance of your prize money to file for your prize claim, kindly contact your claims agent.

Contact claims office: Google Promotion Board Dr. Andrew Ferguson. E-mail: andrewferguson211@careceo.com."

Another variation of the scam email comes with a 'Official Notification' subject title, referring to you with "Dear Google User". It says you've been selected as a winner for using Google services, while attached is their Official Noticiation letter for your perusal (photo below). The letter might be sign by a fake Matt Brittin, CEO of Google Ltd UK, or Larry Page, one of the founders of the company.

googled

How to avoid:

While it has been said time and again, it bears repeating: you will never get something for nothing. Google has never given prizes to users as a thank you for using their search engine; given that they are the number one preferred search engine – and have been since their inception – they do not have to give prizes to users to encourage them to Google more things. By being aware of the “if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is” school of thought, you will save yourself a lot of trouble.

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