BBC Lottery: Have you won too?

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

I must be the luckiest person on the planet – I keep winning lotteries!

Here’s the latest notification – straight from Aunty Beeb herself, the BBC.

Bogus BBC lottery email

Apparently the BBC is now deciding who has won the lottery based not upon who bought tickets, but instead simply by pulling email addresses out of a hat! That seems so much more efficient than the old way.

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You may have thought that there had to be enough people putting a little bit of money *into* the lottery for a small number of people to get a lot *out* of it – but apparently not anymore! Maybe they’re just pleased I’ve been paying the TV license fee for the last twenty years or so.

Now, if you receive an email like this there are probably people out there who will try to convince you that it’s a scam, that it wouldn’t be a good idea to hand over your name, address, age, mobile number, date of birth (hang on – don’t they already have that?) to a complete stranger..

..especially to a complete stranger called “Mr Patetr Thomas” (# You say potato, I say Patetr #). And they may even try to warn you that Scottish screen lovely Jenni Falconer doesn’t actually present the Saturday lottery draw on BBC TV, that duty falling to chirpy cheeky chappy Nick Knowles instead.

Jenni Falconer and Nick Knowles

And I must admit I find it hard to confuse the two of them, but I’m sure it’s just an administrative mix-up.

After all, Mr Patetr Thomas (# Let’s call the whole thing off.. #) is probably a very busy chap. After all, it looks like I’m not the only winner of the £1,000,000.

That’s right – there’s lots of us. Just look at the subject line:

*** BULK *** Dear E-Mail User

I would like to imagine that there are no Naked Security readers out there who would fall for a scam email like this – but we must recognise that there are people more vulnerable to these sort of con-tricks than ourselves.

Do your bit to make sure that the vulnerable members of your family aren’t fooled into believing they are going to win a fortune in a lottery – if they are duped into believing they will be receiving a windfall they might get themselves into an expensive and upsetting pickle.

Naked Security colleague Paul Ducklin recently spoke at a conference dedicated to keeping others from getting ripped off online – especially seniors already on their retirement income, who can least afford it.

You can read more about this heart-wrenching aspect of cybercriminality in his writeup of the event.

As Duck says in his article, “Friends don’t let friends get scammed online.”

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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