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EuroMillions impersonators move to scam emails

Scammers are impersonating EuroMillions winners Frances and Patrick Connolly. Have you had this fake email arrive in your inbox?

08/11/2019: EuroMillions scam moves to email

We’ve been made aware via Twitter that scammers impersonating EuroMillions winners Frances and Patrick Connolly have moved on to sending direct emails in a bid to potentially extort people.

You can see the fake email in full in the following tweet:

As we explained back in January, the original purpose of the scam was to grow the social media account’s following, only for it to be sold on later.

The email shown here is perhaps more sinister – it’s clear in asking for your name, address and phone number that your personal data is the target.

If you reply, this could easily move on quickly to bank details.

Our 10 tips for spotting an email scam can help you stay vigilant of fraud like this. If you think you’ve been the victim of a phishing scam, contact your bank immediately.

Have you received this email? Spotted scammers impersonating other lottery winners? Let us know in the comments.

19/01/2019: Original Convo

By Amelia Wade

When Frances and Patrick Connolly decided to go public with their £115 million windfall, I’d hazard a bet they didn’t expect being impersonated online was one of the consequences.

The lottery-winning couple said they’d drawn up a list of about 50 people they’d share the jackpot with.

Fraudsters, who’ll do anything to get their hands on your cash or data, saw an opportunity.

Scam plan

Within a week, someone set up a Twitter account pretending to be Patrick Connolly and said they’d randomly select 50 people to give a chuck of the money to once their YouTube channel got to 10,000 subscribers.

In just a few short days, they amassed almost 44,000 Twitter followers and more than 4250 YouTube subscribers.

As soon as we found out about the scam, we reported it to Twitter but it took at least three days for the account to be taken down, only for another account to spring up.

Impersonation scams

This time the fraudsters targeted students and gave the assurance this account was the Connollys’ genuine page – they claimed the other Twitter handle was fake.

That account has since been shut down.

But what’s the point of it all? Why would someone go to all that work in setting up these accounts, tweeting and retweeting all in the effort of gaining followers?

Why else? Money.

Cash for followers

I had a quick look online and found people flogging Twitter accounts for hundreds of dollars.

One offering was an account with 27,000 followers and aged 2010 all for the tidy price of $700USD.

Read more: our six tips to spot a social media scam

Another with 115,00 followers and aged 2009 was on offer for $300.

Once you’ve bought the Twitter account and get given access to it, it’s very easy to change the handle to whatever you like (as long as it’s still available) – a quick way to win a following for a new enterprise.

Twitter makes it very clear in its rules – you are not allowed to sell your account.

You’re also not allowed to ‘username squat’, which is where someone will set up an account with the handle of a celebrity or company and sit on it until they want to claim their own name back.

But even though we reported the fake Patrick Connolly account, it took days for it to be taken down.

Do you think this was fast enough? Have you spotted other types of this sort of scam?

Comments
Richard Weeks says:
7 October 2020

I received this email:
From: Mirjana Nikolic
Sent: Sunday, October 04, 2020 10:25 AM
To: Mirjana Nikolic
Subject: Donation

Greetings to you.
I am happy to let you know that as part of our efforts to cushion the economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, you have been selected to receive a donation of £2,000,000.00 from Frances & Patrick Connolly Foundation. For details, please contact the foundation via private e-mail: patrickfrancesconnolly80@gmail.com

Thanks.
Dr. Mirjana Nikolic
For: Frances & Patrick Connolly Foundation.

Seren says:
11 October 2020

Hello I just received a text message regarding this scam. They wanted me to send my name, phone, address, country, sex, and occupation saying that their pastor provided a list of people who could use the money. I mean I could always use money, but definitely knew this was a scam.

My sister got a text and sent it to me cuz she thought it was for me and as I read it, I thought why would Google and Microsoft give you a list of people’s phone numbers…. Because you won a bunch of millions? I certainly don’t think so. This text asked for full name address sex occupation and a phone number and wanted it sent from her own personal email account. As I reread this text I thought, this writer doesn’t sound like he’s from Ireland..Lol.. So thank god for google search I typed in ‘euromillions 2019’ and voila — a scam — thanks for sharing!!

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Julie Edwards says:
30 January 2021

I got this same message on January 8,2021 and I unfortunately thought it was legit and gave my name,address(a p.o.box only)etc. asked for but no bank info of mine. These tricksters replied by sending a fake check to my email inbox plus a phone number of the Royal Bank of Scotland. I had questians about taxes owed on the money and they haven’t replied so my intuition made go online to check a phone number for the Scottish bank and its fake. I emailed the Scottish bank asking about this but haven’t heard back yet because this needs to be reported as fraud. I never gave these crooks my banking info but they do have my phone number. I’m a 66 year old homeless lady on public benefits not with much money and I’m hoping someday these crooks get caught.

Colin says:
13 December 2020

These scammers are still at it, Just received this email scam, below is the email.. came from Patrick Connolly <mrmrspatrickconnolly@gmail.com

Hello Beneficiary,

We are the family of Frances and Patrick Connolly from County Down Northern Ireland U.K who won a jackpot in the New Year's Day draw, We are the current winners of the £115 million EuroMillions jackpot. My name is MR. Patrick Connolly.

"I am a businessman and I am 54 years old, My wife Mrs. Frances Connolly, she is 52 years old and a teacher and she is a great blessing to me, We are from Northern Ireland U.K. My EuroMillions jackpot was a gift from God to me on January 1st 2019. I have agreed to do the will of God. I may not know you,but I believe you were chosen by God to receive my donation of $1,000,000 USD. You must be a God fearing individual,I am a Christian and I believe that Good things happen to those people who wait and also" believe.

I am very grateful to you for the interest shown in my plight and I want to assure you that you will be greatly rewarded for what you have chosen to do. Although we know each other for the first time, I believe our father has directed me to you as I prayed and searched over the internet for assistance because I saw your profile on a list of registered Emails provided to me by Microsoft and Google email Provider around the globe from which I picked you.

I decided to donate to just 50 Individuals and i told some Ministers about this which they said was a welcome idea and promised they will get me a list of some people who can help "others with my donation and put smile in the face of the needy, I decided to select my self by going to Microsoft and Google to make a research. My donation OF $1,000,000 USD may not be much to you but i believe it will go a long way to improving your standard of living like my EuroMillions jackpot did to me, I would like you to fill the below and return back to me and my entire household will be glad for you to visit us aher my donation gets to you. Do this on time so you can contact the payout bank for further" directives to receive donations.

Send the complete details below:

Name:
Address And Country:
Age:
Sex:
Occupation:
Phone No:

I do hope that you will be able to use the money wisely and judiciously over there in your country.

Read More: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-46756469

We will employ you to do what you can to alleviate the level of poverty in your region and also try to enhance the standard of living of as many people as you can because that is the only objective of donating this money to you in the first place. May the Good lord bless your heart to be a blessing to your family and your society as soon as my donation gets to you.

"Yours Faithful,"
Mr. And Mrs. Patrick Connolly.

Gracie says:
13 March 2021

I just received a very similar message over text! I wasn’t sure what to do with it but I’m glad I did some research.

Keep your eyes open everyone. It is March of 2021 and scammers are still reaching out to people.

Just received the mail today (13th Dec, 2020);
“A special donation was made to you and your family. Contact ( patrickandfrancessconnolly@gmail.com) for details…

Please Note: This is the third time we have been trying to contact you.
Best Regards”

Brigitte says:
14 December 2020

I received this mail in Spanish from supportboard@fp-connolly.foundation :-

Mi familia estará encantada de recibir su respuesta. Somos Frances y Patrick Connolly, que vivimos en Moira, recientemente ganamos esta lotería y como nuestro apoyo post COVID_ 19, hemos decidido hacer donaciones a 50 personas y organizaciones afortunadas y, nos complace anunciarles, el En nombre de la familia Frances y Patrick Connolly, le estamos donando 208,000.00 USD.

Puede leer más sobre nosotros y nuestra donación aquí (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-46756469)

Decidimos donar a personas que puedan ayudar a otros con nuestra donación y poner una sonrisa en el rostro de los necesitados. Nuestra donación de 208,000.00 USD puede no ser mucho para usted considerando la cantidad que ganamos, pero creemos que contribuirá en gran medida a mejorar su nivel de vida y el de muchos otros en su localidad.

Nos gustaría que nos escribiera para que podamos comenzar el proceso de transferencia y todos los documentos legales con nuestro abogado. Toda nuestra familia estará encantada de tenerlo como nuestro invitado después de que deba tener esta donación oficialmente, hágalo a tiempo para que pueda comunicarse con el banco de pagos para obtener más instrucciones para recibir una donación.

Los mejores deseos,
Frances y Patrick Connolly.

Abbie says:
28 December 2020

We are Frances and Patrick Connolly and we won Ј115m Euromillions lottery jackpot January 1, 2019.
We are giving donation to 5 randomly selected emails and yours is one of the email we selected from a raffle draw.
We are donating the sum of $1,000,000 to you and your family in good faith.
Contact us through email at [edited] to claim your donation.

I got same mail today its 28.12.20 I dont reply I just ignor list them )

[Moderator: we’ve edited this comment to remove a personal email address. Please do not post personal contact details or other personally identifiable information – this is for everyone’s privacy. For more information see the Community guidelines]

I received a text from jcox@awp.cnyric.org My entire family Is pleased to read your reply to us. We the family of
Frances and Patrick Connolly from County Down won jackpot in
New Year’s Day draw the current winner of £115 nillion. My name
is MR. Patrick Connolly a business man and I am 54 years old and
my wife Mrs. Frances Connolly, she is 52 years old a teacher and
she is a great blessing to me, We are from Northem Ireland U.K.
My EuroMillions jackpot was a gift from God to me on January 1st
2019. I have agreed to do the will of God. I may not know you, but I
believe you were chosen by God to receive my donation of
£1,110,000.00 GBP equivalent to S1,450.000.00 USD. You must
be a God fearing individual, I am a Christian and I believe that Good
things happens to those people who wait and also believe.
I decided to donate Individuals and i told some Ministers about this
which they said was a welcome idea and promised they will get me
a list of some people who can help olhers with my donation and put
smile in the face of the needy. I decided to select my self by going
to Microsoft and Google to make a research. My donation OF
£1,110,000.00 GBP may not be much to you but i believe it will go
a long way to improving your standard of living like my EuroMilions
jackpot did to me, I would like you to fill the below and return back to
me and my entire household vill be glad for you to visit us after my
donation gets to you. Do this on time so you can contact the
payout bank for further directives to receive donation
You are to reply from your private Email Address with details
below to Email:connollyf456@gmail.com
Full Name: Address And Country: Age:
Sex: Occupation: Phone No:
attached file carefully for your New Year Benefit 2021.
Confidentiality Notice: The information contained in this electronic message is intended for the exclusive use of the individual or entity named above and may contain privileged or confidential information. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient or the employee or agent responsible to deliver it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that dissemination, distribution or copying of this information is prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately by telephon5e and destroy the copies you received.

[Moderator: this website appears to be a scam website. We’ve retained the URL to help you identify it, but we’ve redirected the link to our guidance on how to spot fraudulent website. ]

Gracie says:
13 March 2021

This is the exact message I received, now into March 2021.

Lena says:
19 January 2021

I live in the United States, Massachusetts to be exact. Today I received a text from the “so called “ Connolly family asking for my personal information in order to receive money.

I want people to know it is still going on and via text.

The scammers, or someone like them, have moved on to sending texts with an screen grab image of the same info in emails. Beware!

And, it’s moved across the pond. I’m in the middle of US. Understandable why we would be a likely target with the turmoil and insanity going on here now.

I live in Waco Texas and I received this scam by text this week. It had response directed to email address that makes it appear it is linked to a church in Texas. So scammers are still using this!!

I tried to post a screenshot of the text, but cannot figure out how to post it here in comments.

If you upload the image to a photo sharing site (Imgur was recommended) you can add a link to your post. Links are moderated, so your post will not appear immediately.

The option is to find the image file itself (right click/view image on Macs) and simply post the URL of the pic. As Wave has said, however, links submitted are moderated.

Thanks Ian. I have often wondered why Patrick Steen suggested using Imgur rather than simply copying the image link.

I’ve tried posting a link for pictures from time to time. It works with some such as jpegs but many just reappear as a very long character string.

Check that the posted URL ends in .jpg or .png, Malcolm.

I do. Many do not end thys and finding a suitable stock image can be tedious.

Perhaps it’s best to experiment with transferring images to Imgur, which makes it easy to do simple editing. Here is a cropped photo of the first scam text I have received.

The HSBC site shows similar examples.

Our Names are Frances and Patrick Connolly from County Armagh in
Northern Ireland. We Just Won 115 Million Pounds from the
EuroMillions lottery jackpot Lottery draw. We are therefore giving out
Grant donation of 1,500,000.00 pounds each to (50) Lucky
international recipients worldwide to show God our appreciation. You
received this message because you have be listed as one of the (50)
lucky Individual Selected.

Kindly send us the below details so that we can transfer your
1,500,000.00 pounds in your name or direct our bank to effect the
transfer of the funds to your operational bank account in your country.

Full Name:
Mobile No:
Age:
Country:

Kindly visit the link for more details about the Winning;
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-46756469

Send your response to (v76277@foxmail.com)

Congratulation to You.
Frances & Patrick Connolly

[Moderator: this website appears to be a scam website. We’ve retained the URL to help you identify it, but we’ve redirected the link to our guidance on how to spot fraudulent website. ]

P ANDRZEJ says:
1 February 2021

Subject: An amount of £3,600,000.00 have been donated to you
From: “Patrick Connolly”
Date: Mon, Feb 01, 2021 5:15 pm
To: Recipients

Greetings,
We are pleased to inform you that an amount of £3,600,000.00 million Pound sterling (GBP) has been donated and given, gifted to you and your family by Frances & Patrick Connolly Family from County Down in Northern Ireland, who won the Euro Millions jackpot, lottery of £115m Euro Millions, part of this donation, it is for you and your family. This donation is to help fight against Corona Virus COVID -19 pandemic in the world, and help the poor people off the streets, also to contribute to poverty reduction, public donations, public charity, orphanages, less privileged and help poor individuals in your community please contact her to claim the money via email for more details:xxxxxxx

[Moderator: we’ve edited this comment to remove personally identifiable information, as this is not allowed in the Community guidelines. Please don’t post people’s names, addresses, or other personally identifiable information – even if you suspect it is made up. This is to protect everyone’s privacy.]

Alan says:
2 February 2021

The fraudsters are still continuing with their email scam since I received emails today stating that I am the beneficiary of a donation of £3,600,000 using a “therapieny.com” email address. This domain is registered with GoDaddy by an organisation known as DomainsByProxy,LLC of 14455N.Hayden Road, Arizona 85260 U.S.

I am In Washington state it’s in Feb 2021 I just now got this scam email from thesee scammers saying that they picked me to give money to . I quickly googled their names to see if it was a scam and it was. I am not gonna fall for that . Would if been nice to have that actually be real . With this pedimic from covd 19 I am now unemploymed.due to being self employed I knew all the people I helped clean their house or helped take care of them some for over 20 years with no business license so I got screwed financialy because of this pandemic. .all of my clients either died from covd 19 or too scared or sick .I have serval autoimmune diseases so I am a heath risk out their.so I am screwed. The scammers we’ve been p****d look at my bank account I like $10 in there LOL I would have been funny yeah I take the $10 you stupid scammers LOL LOL

Jennay Roberts

I have a letter from them. Request personal data

rabble says:
5 March 2021

The real issue is that the rabble takes twitter seriously. Twitter is entertainment, it has no real purpose other than entertainment. That means there’s no such thing as a “fake twitter account” there are just people who are duped because they decide to take entertainment seriously, just look at conservative news outlets.

Twitter has no obligation to police its services, and quite frankly, they shouldn’t. Instead, we need to stop taking entertainment seriously. You have no evidence that any twitter account is “the real person” and trying to turn a form of entertainment into some real person exchange (which it was never meant to be) is akin to trying to turn conservative entertainment pieces into “news.” It just isn’t going to work.

Mark says:
11 March 2021

I would like to inform you a vital info. Email me at: [edited]

sms received yesterday, l live in Cape Town, South Africa

[Moderator: we’ve edited this comment to remove a personal email address. Please do not post personal contact details or other personally identifiable information – this is for everyone’s privacy. For more information see the Community guidelines]

H Y Adjepong says:
12 March 2021

This email and several others appeared in my inbox. I have not replied to any of them.

Greetings,
We are pleased to inform you that an amount of £3,600,000.00 million Pound sterling (GBP) has been donated and given, gifted to you and your family by Frances & Patrick Connolly Family from County Down in Northern Ireland, who won the Euro Millions jackpot, lottery of £115m Euro Millions, part of this donation, it is for you and your family. This donation is to help fight against Corona Virus COVID -19 pandemic in the world, and help the poor people off the streets, also to contribute to poverty reduction, public donations, public charity, orphanages, less privileged and help poor individuals in your community please contact her to claim the money via email for more details: [edited]

[Moderator: we’ve edited this comment to remove a personal email address. Please do not post personal contact details or other personally identifiable information – this is for everyone’s privacy. For more information see the Community guidelines]

Millicent Henry says:
22 March 2021

This is March 2021, I live in Jamaica. the scam is still going on. Up to this morning I was asked for my banking info to be emailed to Barclays Bank PLC (UK). When I entered the fax # provided on the bank’s platform, It registered as fraud.

Hi Millicent,
Glad you realised it was fraud. Do you get as many scams in Jamaica as we do in the UK?

Harriet says:
17 April 2021

THEY ARE STILL AT IT;
Email from Valentina Rivera’s Ramirez today scammers.