The general gist of the email is, “You’ve won a whole lot of money, and in order to claim it you have to send us a smaller amount of money. Keep it confidential!”
According to Muskego Police, this past year’s top sweepstakes scam was undoubtedly the email claiming to be from Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, announcing that the recipient was the winner of $1 million from the popular social networking site.
"These kinds of scams often use celebrities or other famous names to make their offer seem more genuine," explained Lt. Dave Constantineau. He cautioned that if you're not sure about the legitimacy, don’t click on the link. "Go directly to the homepage of the company mentioned. If they are really giving away $1 million, there will be some kind of announcement on their website."
While you may feel the scam is obvious, Constantineau said many older people or people who are not computer savvy can fall for this very easily. "If you have a friend or family member who starts talking about the contest they won, ask to see the paperwork, and encourage them to check into it before sending money. Once money is sent, it is pretty much impossible to get it back, and I hate having to tell people that," he said.