Money pouring out from a notebook computer

Fake “Microsoft Official Promotion” Email Offers £450,000 Prize

We begin the week with a fake “Microsoft Official Promotion” scam which attempts to convince recipients that they’ve won £450,000.

They’re also apparently so desperate to have potential victims reply that they’ve attached the same PDF claim form to fill in three times:

Fake Claim email

The email reads as follows:

CONGRATULATIONS!!!YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS HAS WON £450,000.00 GBP (Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling)‏

It is obvious that this notification will come to you as a surprise but please find time to read it carefully as we congratulate you over your success in the following official publication of results of the E-mail electronic online Sweepstakes 2014/2015 organized by Microsoft, in conjunction with the foundation for the promotion of software products, (F.S.P) held this 2015,in the Microsoft Head Quarters London United Kingdom, where your email address emerged as one of the online Winning emails in the 2nd category and therefore attracted a cash award of Ј450,000.00 (Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling) Our winners are arranged into four categories with different winning prizes accordingly in each category. They are arranged in this format below:

As a former Microsoft MVP, I received a lot of emails from MS and I can tell you that I never saw one using three exclamation marks in the subject line! Eventually the scammers mention what personal information they’re looking for:

Microsoft Verification Requirements

(1). Full Name: (2). Address: (3). Nationality/Gender: (4). Age: (5). Occupation: (6). Phone: (7). Country: (8). How do you feel as a Microsoft Winner: (9). Ever Won an Online Award or Bonus: (10). Winning Email Address:

Please specify your mode of receiving your winnings. (1) Courier Delivery of your winning cheque to your Home address. (2) Bank transfer of your funds to your bank account in your country.

Never send money to scammers, or indeed receive it. There can be big consequences should you be caught up in a money mule scam.

There’s another section where they warn recipients of the email not to tell anyone about it.

Do not tell people about your Price Award until your money is successfully handed over to you to avoid disqualification that may arise from double claim. You may also receive similar e-mails from people portraying to be other Organizations or Microsoft Corporation. This is solely to collect your personal information from you and lay claim over your notification letter that was sent to you by us, Microsoft shall not be held responsible for any loss of fund arising from the above mentioned.

Let’s see – you don’t want recipients of your missive to tell anybody about suspicious gifts to the tune of under half a million pounds? Hm, I wonder why.

In case you were wondering, the PDF document is pretty much a cut and paste of the text from the email, with the additional bonus of a horribly formatted Microsoft Windows logo:

Fake winner document


Despite what they claim about this being a “Microsoft official promotion”, it is indeed a fraudulent mail and should be dropped in the recycle bin the moment you receive it. If you have a friend or relative susceptible to these kinds of shenanigans, you may wish to give them a heads-up that this one is doing the rounds.

You may also want to point them to some of our older scam email posts and let them see the kind of tactics scammers use in their efforts to part people from their money.

Christopher Boyd


Christopher Boyd

Former Director of Research at FaceTime Security Labs. He has a very particular set of skills. Skills that make him a nightmare for threats like you.