Sheriff Alerts Public to Microsoft Internet Scam

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith is alerting the public to a recently discovered Internet scams.

This morning, a Carmel resident contacted the Sheriff’s Office and reported receiving an email message purporting to have been sent by “Microsoft Corporation Sweepstakes Promotion Customer Service.” The message headed, “Official Winning Notification,” informed the recipient that he had won an online contest organized by Microsoft Corporations in conjunction with the Foundation for the Promotion of Software. The prizes ranged from cash awards to laptop computers. It instructed the “winner” to contact the company’s Foreign Transfer Manager, Mr. James Marshall at a specific telephone number and email address.

A second email allegedly sent from Microsoft and a consortium of software promotion companies announced that they produce periodic email lottery awards which are “organized to encourage the use of the Internet and promote computer literacy worldwide.” The email suggests that the recipient also won this lottery. Those claiming prizes should do so by contacting Mrs. Anita Hendrix, Promotion Manager.

These email messages were referred to investigators from the Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation. They contacted Microsoft’s corporate headquarters in the State of Washington and confirmed that they were bogus and part of an email scam.

Sheriff Smith reminds everyone that scams are frequently sent to our residents by way of email. Recipients should always be weary when receiving such communiqués because they usually lead to unsuspecting recipients losing their identities and money.

“Remember, if you are sent emails containing information that sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Never give any personal information to anyone over the Internet, by mail or over the telephone without confirming the identity of the individual or corporation making the inquiry and the reason for asking for that information,” said the Sheriff.