This one is just dandy:
From: MICROSOFT NATIONAL LOTTERY 2010 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010 8:35 PM
Subject: YOU HAVE WON (£ 500.000.00 GBP)
YOU HAVE WON (£ 500.000.00 GBP)
FROM MICROSOFT E-MAIL AWARD WINNING
DRAWS 2010 HELD HERE IN UNITED KINGDOM
Contact Mr, ALEX WINTER FALL.
You are to Fill the below details…
1. FULL NAME…… 2. COUNTRY OF
3. PRESENT ADDRESS…… 4. AGE…….
5. OCCUPATION…………………6. SEX………..
7. TELEPHONE NUMBER….
MRS.BRADSHAW (MICROSOFT LOTTERY COORDINATOR)
Esta mensagem foi verificada pelo sistema de antivírus e
acredita-se estar livre de perigo.
Do I even need to tell you this is a scam? Probably a 419-style setup; after you contact them, they’ll have you wiring money overseas to pay “fees” for a prize that will never arrive.
There are some things I really love about this:
- “Microsoft National Lottery.” I wasn’t aware Microsoft was its own nation. Facebook, on the other hand…
- Scam emails usually have some clunky English, but the language is butchered beyond belief in this one. Whoever wrote this hasn’t even got the rudiments wired.
- “Mr. Alex Winter Fall.” A man for all seasons (or at least two of them).
- Isn’t Microsoft based in the United States? What would they be doing hosting lotteries in the UK and handing out British Pounds to random people?
- Hotmail is owned by Microsoft, so they somehow managed to get something almost right. However, a real email from the company would be hosted at Microsoft.com.
- Does anybody honestly believe that large corporations just give away millions of dollars to random people? They don’t. Not even the richest ones.
- I wonder why the virus scanning information at the bottom of the email would be in Spanish, if this were actually sent from the U.K. to a U.S. recipient.
- “Microsoft E-mail Award-Winning Draws.” Not a very snappy name, is it?
Jokes about linguistic butchery aside, I actually think this message isn’t targeted to native English speakers. These things go all over the world, and if you only know a little English (or none), you might not immediately realize how “off” the grammar and spelling are.