I’ve seen hundreds of spam emails, for a year or more, that reference the Canadian couple, Violet and Allen Large.
The elderly couple, who lived in Nova Scotia, won $11.2 million in a Lotto 6/49 jackpot in July 2010. They decided, due to the fact hat they were retired and had plenty of savings to continue to live comfortably, to give away the bulk of their winnings to family, local churches and various charities.
Almost immediately, the scammers started sending out emails containing details of this true story. Typically, the pitch goes like this:
My wife Violet and I Allen Large won $11.3 million in a lottery 6-49 in July, 2010 and we have decided to donate the sum of $2,000,000.00 USD to you. Contact us via our personal email for more details (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can verify our story by visiting the web page below. http://www.ctvnews.ca/n-s-couple-gives-away-11m-in-lottery-winnings-1.570916
The link, which is usually to a worldwide news website article about the story, gives the scam bona fides. The amount ‘won’ is generally $2,000,000.
How it works
The scam is the typical ‘Advance Fee Fraud’ (aka Nigerian or 419), where a large sum of money can only be released by submitting a relatively smaller amount. This takes the form of taxes, bribes, customs, shipping, security, courier, lawyers and any other fees the scammer can think of. A check may arrive in the post, but it’ll be fake or stolen so don’t order your new Porsche just yet.
The amazing thing about these scams, which more usually are about Deposed Dictators’ fortunes, is how long they last. Scamdex has emails and Scam Tip submissions going back years and yet the scam must still have legs, judging by the continuing flow. Scamdex continues to collect, index, and publish information on these scams but …
Scammers have always relied on and profited from P.T Barnum’s famous maxim, “There’s a sucker born every minute”.
Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/two-years-after-big-lottery-win-n-s-man-still-plagued-by-scam-artists-1.1194035#ixzz2SXBjhATt