Lotteries and Prizes

You receive a notice stating that you have won a lottery, prize or sweepstakes. The notice may be made via mail, phone, email or even a text message. The scammers may use a variety of names for the alleged lottery. The first question to ask is whether or not you bought a ticket or legitimately enter this lottery. The second important point to notice is whether or not the alleged lottery is local or foreign. It is illegal for any United States citizen to participate in any foreign lotteries. If you do and are caught, you could be subject to five years in prison.

In all cases, the fraudster will request some sort of payment. This may or may not be initially disclosed in the correspondence. You may receive the instructions after contacting your assigned “agent.” Bottom line, you will be instructed to wire money: either money from your own account or money from a check sent by the fraudster as an alleged advance on your winnings to assist you with the payment of taxes, attorney fees, conversion costs, etc. In ALL cases, the check is counterfeit. If you negotiate the check, you will be liable for the loss.

The easiest way to protect yourself is to not respond to these schemes. If the fraudsters call you, then tell them to subtract the fees from the winnings and send you a check for the remainder.


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