Microsoft is touting that their new Bing search feature will now include warnings trying to help consumers from being the victims of Advance Fee Fraud and also Lottery Scams. It seems that these scams cost consumers millions of dollars all around the world. In addition Microsoft has a online site which aims at informing consumers of these frauds.

The information on the Microsoft site includes the following:

Microsoft, in collaboration with the United States Postal Inspection Service and Western Union, wants to help educate consumers about these scams. Microsoft and Western Union also participate in the Advance Fee Fraud Coalition, a private sector initiative to raise public awareness and encourage victims to report these crimes to law enforcement.

Common types of Advance Fee Fraud or lottery scams

Advance Fee Fraud or lottery scams are fraudulent e-mail messages that come from someone you do not know or come from someone impersonating someone you know. The e-mail messages may also appear to come from corporate executives or government officials who are promising gifts or supervising financial transactions.

The sender may make any number of deceptive claims or requests. Here are some of the most popular:

  • You are needed to help with a financial transaction, such as the transfer of a large sum of money into an account.
  • You have received an inheritance or gift.
  • You are the winner of a cash prize through a lottery or sweepstakes that you never entered.
  • The sender has been robbed while traveling and needs financial assistance to return home.

The e-mail messages are intended to cause an emotional reaction and to get you to send money or provide personal information such as your name, address, telephone number, passwords, banking account numbers, credit card information, and more. Sometimes the e-mail messages will include viruses, malicious attachments, or other unwanted software.

If you know of someone who might fall victim to any of these frauds, you may wish to have them visit this site linked below.

Comments welcome.

Microsoft website on online fraud