Competition time - kind of

I suppose it had to happen eventually, but it appears that malware writers have created a hoax email that masquerades as a serious lottery prize message.

According to the lads and lasses over at Sophos, email tells recipients they have won a lottery sponsored by Volkswagen, advising them of a million pound prize and a free VW card.

The email, which sez that that the user has been randomly chosen from over 250,000 email addresses around the world, advises the recipient to contact a transfer agent to expedite the prizes.

Sophos says it thinks the hoax emails are part of an advance fee fraud system similar to the Nigerian 419 scams of yesteryear.

Graham Cluley, the firm's senior technology expert, says that the scam has stolen the name of one of the world's most famous car companies in a bid to steal people's money and IDs.

"Unfortunately, rather than driving off into the sunset with a wad of cash on the passenger seat, computer users who fall for this trick risk handing confidential details about themselves into the hands of fraudsters," he explained.

"Anyone who responds to these emails will never collect their prize money, or find a brand new VW car sitting on their driveway," he added.

You know what, I think he could be right...