My Favorite Email Scam of the Year

I got this email today. I am so excited. I’ve won a BMW "Saloon car" (I guess it comes with a wet bar) and "a cash of $850,000,00."

The BMW Group UK.
International Awareness Promotion Department.
22 Garden Close, Stamford Lincs, PE9 2YP
London, United Kingdom.

Ref: BMW/2551256003/23
Dear Lucky Email Owner,

We are happy to announce that you are a lucky winner of the BMW International Awareness Promotion. This makes you a proud owner of a brand new BMW 5 Series, M Sport Saloon car and a cash of $850,000.00. The car comes with a special BMW Insurance Cover for one year and a one year warranty and FREE repairs at any BMW Automobile depot or service station worldwide.

For you to collect your prize, kindly contact our Prize Remittance Unit through email stating your receipt of this notification. When sending an email to the office, you are to send the following information which would enable him process your prize.

2. SEX:
3. AGE:
6. CITY:
11. FAX:

BMW Prize Remittance Unit (Spain) E-mail:
Tel: +34-63- 401-5428

Congratulations once more, and keep trusting BMW Automobile for top quality

Best Regards, Graddon Danny Ray II (Engr.)Online Promotion Manager.

This email was sent from an email account of BMW (UK)  Limited which is a
company registered in England and Wales with Registration Number 1378137 and has its offices at Ellesfield Avenue, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 8TA.

16 thoughts on “My Favorite Email Scam of the Year”

  1. Actually, this makes perfect sense to me. In the UK, a “saloon car” is what we call a “sedan”. The rest of the e-mail is, of course, rather amusing… but don’t get too enamoured of single-malt whisky in your hypothetical “saloon car.” 😉

  2. It’s really a scam, right? BMW doesn’t have such a unit nor do they offer such a prize, right? And we know this, how? Because we’ve sent a copy of this email to BMW, and they said so. As well, they are going to take action. They will put a denial on their own website and maybe sue the people behind the scam – right? Just making sure.

  3. I love this line, too:
    “When sending an email to the office, you are to send the following information which would enable him process your prize.”
    And yes, Dan, it’s a scam. Can’t you tell!?
    And yes, I have forwarded the email to my friends at BMW (who supplied cars for my movie FAST TRACK).

  4. You’re right, Lee. I should have realized you’d checked it out. Whenever a pop-up tells me I’ve won something I close the window. Friends at BMW, eh? Not too shabby.

  5. I used to practice in a firm with lawyers who did a lot of estate planning. One day a nice little old lady came in and said she needed to do an estate plan because she was coming into a lot of money soon. When asked where the funds were coming from, the little old lady, beaming with joy, pulled out a piece of paper, all folded and creased as if it had been read and re-read dozens of times. It was a printed e-mail very much like the one in this post.

  6. But, David J Montgomery, these emails still need to be checked out, even if they look totally phoney and a scam. The scams are trying to look legit, but there are legit offers out there too, who may look a scam at first glance. It looks like a scam to me, too. But I didn’t want Lee to miss out if, despite all appearences, it was the real thing. A simple email to BMW would confirm or deny it. So it’s worth the effort – and might lead to an intersting story Lee might like to include in one of his Monk novels. But then, I see the glass as half-full.

  7. “So it’s worth the effort”
    No, it’s not. No more so than if a guy on the street in NYC offers to sell you the
    Brooklyn Bridge. No legitimate offer would ever come in this form.
    It’s not a matter of seeing the glass as full or empty. It’s a matter of gullibility.

  8. Dan, any reasonably intelligent person — and even the vast majority of those with frontal lobotomies — could read that email and know instantly that it is a fraud. There is no need to make any effort whatsoever to check it out. The simple act of reading it is enough. It is fraudulent on its face. How could you be so gullible??? It was obvious to Lee, as it should be to any sentient human being with the IQ of an earthworm, that the contest was a fake.

  9. The BMW scam targets a growing population of young Americans who have had everything dropped in their lap, and have never had to struggle in the real world. I am reminded, this Halloween season, that as many costumed adults come to our door than children. People who give any credence at all to such internet scams live in perpetual childhood.

  10. I think all of you are missing the point. The point isn’t “this is an obvious scam, that’s the end of it.” The point is, “there’s a story here.” The reward may not be the car and the money. The reward may be the experience. And it may lead to a novel. I see the glass as half-full. No car, but something good anyway. And just to be on the safe side, to check with BMW. I wonder if they’ve got some interesting information on this scam. To me, that’s worth an email. You may say I am gullible but I’m not short-sighted. I grant you it’s a scam, but scams can be fun. There’s no pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but it’s an awfully good story to tell children.

  11. “I grant you it’s a scam, but scams can be fun.”
    Unless you’re in law enforcement, or know what you’re doing, it can be dangerous to engage these professional scammers. Trust me, you don’t want to be on their radar. The story you tell your children may be about how someone used your propensity to see the glass “half-full” as a means to suck you dry.


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