Better Business Bureau Alert: Facebook Lottery A Scam

(A Message from the Better Business Bureau)


Chicago, IL – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns a bogus email supposedly from Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is popping up in emails. The email claims the recipient is the winner of $1 millions dollars in a 2011 Sweepstake sponsored by Facebook.  

The lottery emails are not from Facebook, and the BBB warns recipients not to click on the link in the email to claim the prize. The link could lead to malware – harmful or malicious programs – being downloaded to the recipient’s computer. Also, the recipient might receive an email reply from a scammer with instructions to wire thousands of dollars up front as some sort of fee to claim the non-existent prize.

The phony Facebook lottery email makes the following claim; your details(e-mail address) falls within our European representative office in Amsterdam, Holland, as indicated in your play coupon and your prize of US$1,000000 will be released to you from this regional branch office in England.”

Recipients are asked to click on a link to claim the prize, and are told to keep the information confidential: “For security reasons, we advise all winners to keep this information confidential from the public until your claim is processed and your prize released to you … ANY BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY ON THE PART OF THE WINNERS WILL RESULT TO DISQUALIFICATION.”

The BBB offers these red flags that an email may be a scam:

  • Businesses do not email consumers out of the blue to say consumers have won a lottery prize.
  • The names of well-known businesses and individuals are often
  • used in lottery scams to give the impression of a real lottery, even though there’s no connection to the named businesses or individuals.
  • Prize winners would not be asked to click on a link in an unexpected email in order to claim a prize.
  • The demand for confidentiality is a ploy to keep recipients from turning to someone they trust for advice, or checking with authorities.

Anyone who receives scam email can report the email to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the BBB urges consumers and businesses to guard against online scams. To learn about current scams, check out the BBB Scam Source at