Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 23/Feb/2005: "Instant Update"

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Instant Update

Screenshot of the website in question

Last Wednesday I wrote an entry about the Instant Con (also known as Instant Promo Sweepstakes). Unfortunately I didn't save an instant screenshot of the website belonging to it. All that's left is the screenshot of the Google cache, as the site now reads:

The page you are attempting to access has been removed because it violated Tripod's Terms of Service. Please check out Tripod's Help system for more information.

I've received several e-mails (and they are still coming in) about the instant scam, mainly from Australia, but also from Germany and Bulgaria. Time for an instant update with a few instant answers ;-)

In case my previous entry wasn't clear enough: Yes, this is a scam. Most likely one of the "Advance Fee" scams. If you contact them they will tell you that there are some fees to pay before they can release the money. Should you pay them the money that's the last you hear of them and see of your money. When they ask for your details (in particular bank details) this is just to help them cleaning out your accounts, some other questions are just to distract you and make you think it is genuine.

I often receive several of these e-mails per week, the addresses they send them to are usually addresses which already receive a lot of spam. Which in turn leads me to the assumption that they just bought one of the various e-mail lists sold in various places. It seems the same (or a very similar) scam using the same winning numbers already made the rounds in November 2004.

Or in other words: If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. For more information you can also read this BBC report: How not to win a million.

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