We have recently seen a scam purporting tobe from the China National Offshore Oil Corporation that makes claimsof winning money and a trip to the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The emaillooks like the usual "Winning Notification" lottery emails that are alltoo common. However, the twist is that not only do you "win" money, butyou also win a trip to the 2008 Olympics. This is the first scam thatwe have seen that tries to live off the name of the 2008 Olympics inBeijing.
The China National Oil Corporation is currently a hot stock marketpick and owns a certain portion of valuable crude oil worldwide. Byutilizing this known company to promote a "free" trip to the Olympicsthe scammer is looking to receive a lot of interest on this offer. Andwhat does the spammer hope to receive in return? Valuable personalinformation. Here is a sample of one of the spam emails:
Subject: CONGRATULATION!!!! Beijing 2008 Olympics games promotion
WINNING NOTIFICATION/ FINAL NOTIFICATION
We happily announce to you the results of the China National OffshoreOil Corporation Olympic LOTTO AWARDS,International online Sweepstakes……which
subsequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category i.e. match 5 plus bonus.
Our organization here in China decided to sponsor 100 eligible adults
to visit the Peoples Republic of China in August for the Olympics and
you have therefore been approved to start the process of opening line
of communication with our agents in other to obtain visit permits.
Your agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the release of your funds as soon as you contact him and
provide him with the below details.
*Name of Winner:
The fact that the company this scam is purportedly coming from is ahot stock market pick right now combined with winning money and a freetrip to the Olympics is bound to incite interest amongst recipients.This is a classic example of enticement. Scammers that pretend to comefrom a well known source immediately ease the recipient's doubts usingthe "known" factor. Then, they offer up free goods. In this case, thefree goods consist not only of money but also coveted Olympics tickets.
As always, be cautious of opening and/or responding to unsolicitedemail. Before you open any email, be certain that you are expecting theemail or at least have a good idea of what it is about, you know thesender, and that the sender's email address is familiar. Theunfortunate part of this classic type of ruse is that in many cases,the old adage applies: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.