You check your E-mail and find one giving you the most wonderful news – you have just won a lottery; your prize is $1,300,000 in cash. It goes on to explain that a random drawing of all Internet E-mail addresses was held and (surprise, surprise) yours was the winning draw. What is the very first thing that you do? Tell your boss to take a long walk off of a short pier? Call a real estate broker and order a mansion? Call the Bentley Dealership and order matching convertibles – one for you and one for your wife?

No, of course you should not select any of those options, but you would be very surprised to learn how many people actually react in that manner. The very first thing that should come to mind is your chance of winning. If the odds against your winning any lottery are astronomical, what are your odds of winning a lottery that you never even entered! Those odds would not be calculable.

Not convinced that you are being scammed, then examine to whom the E-mail is addressed. If your E-mail does not appear as the addressee, then you should now be very suspicious. How could your E-mail have been drawn, if the sender does not even know what it is? Let’s get back to the E-mail. To create instant credibility, it advises you that the sponsors of the lottery are Microsoft and AOL. The next question that you should ask yourself is do you really believe that Microsoft and AOL would want to give you, as deserving as you are, $1,300,000. If believe that they would, then ask yourself why.

I’ll let you ponder these questions until next time, when I will continue to examine the content of this type of E-mail and explain its purpose. In the meantime, always seek competent legal advice to protect your rights.

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