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I got this question today from a reader, which I will print verbatim here:

how do i know if ‘the electronic mail lottery award notification i have received on email is valid and not fake

This person most certainly found my blog through a Google search.

So, for the benefit of other searchers, let me make a few facts of life clear:

1. Electronic lottery notifications are always fakes

2. Offers to pay you lots of money for working at home are worthy of trashing. In some cases, you’re going to become a mule.

3. Offers to help get a bunch of money out of some Nigerian agency are similarly frauds.

4. Offers to help in some kind of import/export deal are frauds.

5. Anything that promises money for little or no work is a lie. The only people who make huge profits for little or no work are criminals, politicians, oil company and pharmaceutical executives. 

Alex Eckelberry