Spanish Sweepstake Lottery Spam

Over the past few weeks reports of emails and letters being sent advising the recipients they have almost become a Euro millionaire have been witnessed. Email user are told that their numbers have been drawn and a prize of €915,810 has been won.

The reason the emails have been shared to people who have not even bought a ticket is because these campaigns are shared randomly. The perpetrators of the campaign do not know who has purchased a ticket, but a number of lottery ticket holders will receive the email if enough are sent.

A holder of a ticket may reply even if an email address was not given when buying a ticket. The chance of a €900,000 win helps in this regard.

A review for this sum is not issued for security reasons. The money can only be collected by supplying bank information. The lottery company must use a bank transfer to transfer the winnings. Sometimes, the lucky winner will have to cover some “administrative costs” so they can receive their prize. A charge of a few Euros is nothing when held against a €915,810 payout. Those charges are often more than just a few Euros, but the money is still paid.

This specific scam, or variants of it, are commonly shared by Nigerian criminal gangs. In the case of the postal version, a Nigerian postmark would be a giveaway. The letters are, of course, all emailed from Spain. In fact, Spanish criminals have also began using this type of scam to defraud victims. The Guardia Civil recently apprehended  a large gang of criminals who were running scams of this nature. Millions of Euros were rescued.

If you are sent an email telling you that you have won a large sum of money, here are some easy ways to tell if the email is not authentic:

  • You did not purchase a lottery ticket
  • You did not give over an email address
  • You have never heard of the company you are asked to get in touch with
  • The email contains grammatical errors
  • You are given a strict, and short, time period for claiming your prize
  • You are asked to hand over sensitive information to verify your identity
  • You need to meet an administration fee in order to claim your prize
  • You are told to visit a link included in the email to confirm your identity


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Elizabeth Hernandez

Elizabeth Hernandez is a news writer on Defensorum. Elizabeth is an experienced journalist who has worked on many publications for several years. Elizabeth writers about compliance and the related areas of IT security breaches. Elizabeth's has focus on data privacy and secure handling of personal information. Elizabeth has a postgraduate degree in journalism. Elizabeth Hernandez is the editor of HIPAAZone.