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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
Debbie says:
8 July 2021

Had the email today….knew it was a scam but part of me wished it wasn’t before I looked it up in Google. Awful to do this to people.

Juan says:
18 January 2022

Same just got one today😂😂

Maureen says:
8 July 2021

Got my email – luckily there are soooo many scams happening now that I hope it doesn’t catch many out, as it doesn’t look like they’re asking too much private information in a reply… and that they’ve linked to ligit news – but it was years ago!

It gets you excited to think, I deserve to be one of their ‘lucky Individual(s) Selected,’ but I am lucky to know better – hope they get caught and not their hunted suckers.

They had the nerve to add they were doing this “to show God our appreciation.” I believe, He’ll show them His, to be sure, Please God!

A.Campbell says:
9 July 2021

Omg I’m so upset I knew it was fake but it’s too late as I already gave my info 😩 had to lie and tell them it was fake info ugh I’m so p****d cause I’m a mom of two and times are hard so part of me was like okay maybe god is on my side this time but nope

Marlize says:
18 December 2021

How did you stop them. Did they do anything

Jane Parker says:
4 September 2021

I just received this email today telling me I have been made a beneficiary. What a way to scam someone since everyone is excited about the though of receiving money.

I had this email today. These scammers are sick and twisted!

Habib Bank AG Zurich
Sat 04/09/2021 20:52
Mrs Frances Connolly, Wife to Patrick Connolly the winner of £115m ,citizens of Northern Ireland has agreed to share a donation in your favor.

To authenticate my sincerity and verification, please visit my secured link. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-46756469

Kindly send a reply to guide you on how to make your claim.

Thank you

Admin
Habib Bank AG Zurich
http://www.habibbank.com

Got this email in my spam on Wednesday
My Wife And I Are Donating $1,000,000 to you. Send 1. Full names. 2. Full contact delivery address. 3. Telephone number. 4. Country. 5. Age
From this email [edited]

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

Roche Horn says:
1 December 2021

This is what I recieved in my mailbox !!

PATRICK CONNOLLY
Thu, 25 Nov, 16:25 (6 days ago)
to me

Hello Friend

My wife and I won the Euro Millions Lottery of £115 Million British
Pounds and we have voluntarily decided to donate £1,000,000.00 (One
Million POUNDS) to 5 individuals randomly as part of our own charity
project Especially to help during this COVID 19 Pandemic.

To verify our lottery winnings, please see our interview by visiting
the web page below:

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/breaking-euromillions-winning-couple-who-13810980

After a computer spinball, your Phone Number was among the 5 random
Number which were submitted to us by the Google, Inc as a phone; if
you have received our Text, kindly send us the below details so that
we can transfer your £1,000,000.00 (One Million POUNDS) in your name
or direct our offshore paying bank to effect the transfer of the funds
to your designated bank account in your own country.

Full Names:
Mobile No:
Age:
Address:
Occupation:

Best Regards,
Patrick & Frances Connolly

Barb says:
9 December 2021

Received an email on my work account on 11/17/21 from dene@odabas.xyz said “Good day to you, You have been favored with a donation from Frances & Patrick Connolly family. Kindly get back to us for more details. Kind regards Frances Connolly Family” I’ll assume it’s another scam, guess they won’t quit trying on cashing in on the Connolly Family’s generosity.

Lois says:
7 January 2022

Got the same scan today from Connolly’s Family
Fri 1/7/2022 3:17 AM

So everyone, please watch out and block it!

the scam email as below:
Hello ,
We are Frances & Patrick Connolly, we live in Moira, we won
a lottery, and we have decided to make donations of different
amounts to 50 lucky individuals, churches and organizations and also,
20 lucky international individuals like you will also benefit from us.
If you received our previous email, we are glad to announce to you
On behalf of Frances & Patrick Connolly Family, we donate
€3,000,000.00 EURO to you as a gift to help fight Corona Virus in your
city and support people who need money to buy food.

Your email address was submitted to me and my wife from the best web
directory and search engine by legal advisers to the donation scheme.
You received this message because we have listed you as one of our 50
lucky millionaires.

These specific Donations/Grants will be awarded to 20 lucky
international recipients worldwide in different categories for their
personal business development and enhancement of their personal life.
The objective is to make a notable change in the standard of living of
people all around the Universe. I know this might come as a surprise
to you but it is 100% true.

However, You can check our story out with this
link: (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-46756469).

Please provide your information below for claims.

Names:
Age:
Address:
Phone
Occupation:
Country:
Email us: [Edited]
Best regards.
Connolly’s Family

[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]

Amahle Mqokolo says:
8 January 2022

Received the email and Gosh I did give out my Personal details only woke up when they asked for my banking details please help

Hi Amahle – Can you say what personal details you have given them? They obviously have your email address and the email may show your name.

Someone who learned your account number and sort code could set up a direct debit but not extract money from your account without the PIN.