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Microsoft and Yahoo! to fight online scams

Coalition formed to fight online lottery scams

A lottery ticket being filled out

Microsoft has joined forces with Yahoo!, Western Union and the African Development Bank to raise consumer awareness of lottery scam emails.

Internet lottery scams are a common form of advance fee fraud, where victims are duped into paying money upfront to receive a non-existent gift or cash prize. You can find out how to spot lottery scams in our rip-offs, scams & fraud guides.

The Microsoft, Yahoo!, Western Union and African Development Bank coalition hopes to help internet users protect themselves against online scams and fraud.

Economic downturn

It is feared scammers will step up their activity to take advantage of people affected by the global economic downturn.

Tim Cranton, associate general counsel for Worldwide Internet Safety Programs at Microsoft, said: ‘Lottery scammers prey not on software, but on the hope of their victims – and with scams that can be so creative and plausible, internet users simply don’t know whom they can believe.’

The announcement of the internet lottery scam coalition coincides with the results of a scams survey commissioned by Microsoft. The survey found individual losses from lottery scams ranged from less than £80 to more than £5,000.

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