by Richard Bleuze
Be aware of foreign lottery scams, and how they operate, so that you will not become a victim.
Foreign lottery scams have been circulating online, and offline, for years. However, now I seem to be getting a couple of them per day. Thus, I decided to write a brief article about foreign lottery scams hoping to alert some of my followers.
In the past, the original foreign lottery scams simply proclaimed that you were a major winner in a foreign lottery, even though you did not enter. However, in order to claim your prize winnings you had to first remit a so-called processing fee. Of course, anyone who submitted the fee never saw that cash again. In addition, many unsuspecting victims may have given out banking, or other personal information to the scammer.
The most popular foreign lottery scams in the past related to the UK lottery, and the Netherlands lottery.
The most recent foreign lottery scams are much more sophisticated, and they relate to other well-known foreign lotteries. Especially those lotteries located in Australia, and Canada.
For example, you might receive a letter saying that you won $50,000 in the Australian lottery. If you call, do not be tempted, you are told that you will receive a check to cover the taxes and/or fees, as well as additional instructions on how to collect your prize. You will then receive an overnight package which includes a bait (fake) check that looks real, but will either “bounce” if you attempt to cash it, or it may help to convince you that your winnings are real.
The check is issued in line with a federal law declaring that lottery winners must pay taxes, and a processing fee on their winnings. Prize officials include a letter with the bait check stating that winners can use these funds to make that payment. Once you deposit the bait check, you are then requested to immediately write a check to cover the costs/taxes from your account, and then your foreign lottery winnings will follow in the mail.
Of course, as mentioned above, their check is bogus, but the check you sent to them is real. Most banks will put a 30 day hold on foreign checks. However, in the meantime, you have mailed them a real check – and that is how you get scammed.
This latest foreign lottery scam is actually a twist of the traditional foreign lottery scam. I guess the crooks are starting to understand that most people realize not to provide their banking information online for fear of being a victim of identity fraud.
Why is this particular foreign lottery scam so effective? Well, I believe that human nature plays a big part. First, is the desire and thrill of winning the lottery, and secondly, an actual check arrives at your home from FedEx (the credibility factor).
Another foreign lottery scam making the rounds today arrives by snail mail. In this case, the scammers invite U.S. consumers to purchase chances, or tickets, in foreign lotteries. Of course, all the scammers are looking for is your credit card number, or bank account info to process your purchase. Do not be fooled!
Another version is where the scammers invite potential victims to send a check, or call a toll-free number, to purchase a secret system that “guarantees” foreign lottery winnings. Do not fall for this scam. Foreign lotteries do not need to contact you for your banking information or to buy a program that will guarantee you will win their foreign lottery.
If you want to be sure that you are not the next victim of a foreign lottery scam, then I suggest you follow the tips that I have outlined below:
1. First of all, playing any kind of cross-border lottery system is a violation of Federal law. Legal foreign lottery sellers do not sell foreign lottery tickets. They take your order, and have an agent from that country buy a ticket in your name. Should you be lucky enough to win, you must then share your winnings with the agent.
2. You can not win a prize in a lottery if you did not buy a lottery ticket. Please remember this rule since so many people fall victim to this scam.
3. Real lotteries do not find a need to ask you to pay a fee. Remember, if you have to write a check to win a lottery prize, then it is a scam. Never, never, never, send any money for “processing fees”, or share any other financial information, in order to claim a prize.
4. Never fill out any prize forms, or so-called “claims” forms, either through snail mail, or online. You will just be called a “sucker” by the scammers, and added to another solicitation email list.
5. Do not pay for any “guaranteed secret system” from someone, or a foreign lottery association, that will supposedly help you to win their foreign lottery. If someone really had a foolproof secret system to win foreign lotteries, why would they sell it to you?
Richard Bleuze loves to gamble. In fact, he has websites for sports betting, horse betting, casino games, poker, and lotteries. In addition, he collects silver coins, is a real estate broker, and an investor.
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