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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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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.

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 )

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