Feeds

UK police bust lottery scam centre in Somerset

Scammers told: 'Get orf moi laaand!'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Police have busted a bogus lottery winner scam, following a raid on a cheque processing and clearing house in Somerset.

The letter-based scam attempted to dupe prospective marks into thinking they had won a non-existent prize. Recipients were asked to send in £20 as an "administrative fee" to get their hands on their supposed winnings. In reality, cheques were cashed and money processed before being sent to fraudsters based overseas.

Officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) led an investigation into the scam, culminating in a raid on an address in Somerset, where cheques and payments adding up to nearly half a million pounds were recovered. These cheques will be returned to 22,000 senders, with a note telling people that the supposed prize was a scam and urging people to be more careful in future, the BBC reports. Police reckon the scam might have netted as much as £35m had it been allowed to continue.

Scam emails often claim that recipients have won prizes in lotteries run by overseas lottery organisations, or even Microsoft, in the case of one common variant. In reality, these fraudulent messages are the opening gambit in an advanced fee fraud. The scam is a less ambitious sibling to classic 419 scams, which begin with suggestions that the gullible have come into a huge inheritance or that their help is needed to transfer supposed funds often running into millions of dollars. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.