BEWARE - Scam Alert!
If it sounds too good to be true… then it probably is.
In recent years, regular mail and Internet e-mail have become a means for con artists to defraud innocent people out of their money. Scams involving fictitious lotteries are no exception. Fraud Watch International lists approximately 380 known lottery scam operatives around the world.
Here are examples of how it can happen.
Here is an example on how the scam works:
Victims typically are notified they have won a lottery via an email or in the mail, yet have to pay transfer fees, taxes or provide proof of their identity and/or details of their bank accounts or credit cards in order to receive the "winnings". The names of these organizations change all the time (they just make up a new name when one is exposed as a fraud), although many of the notifications use similar wording.
You may be instructed to open an online account with a specified bank, who's "policy" requires a deposit of around US $3,000. The bank is a fake. Or, you may even receive a check for a partial payment to defray the expenses. The check will bounce.
The bottom line is that if you play along with the con you will be duped out of your own money and never receive the prize money promised. In addition, your chances of ever recovering any of your money are slim to none.
Here are some other things to remember:
If you become, or suspect that you have become a victim of a lottery related crime, contact the Ohio Lottery at (216) 774-5757.
If you think you've been a victim of an Internet fraud scheme, you can file a complaint, online, with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, of which the FBI is a part, at www.ic3.gov. Information of a variety of scams can be found at the National Consumers League’s website at fakechecks.org or www.fraudwatchers.org.
For information on International Lottery Scams, go here.