Foreign Lotteries: A Good Bet That You Lose
Foreign lottery scams have been circulating for years. While these schemes were formerly associated with direct mail and telemarketing fraud, recent reports involve possible scams through your email account. No matter what foreign lottery is being "pitched," consumers are warned to avoid these lottery rip offs.
Typically, these foreign lottery scams represent that you are being contacted to make a claim for millions that you have already won or that you have been randomly selected from a pool of lottery players to share in the cash prize. Upon responding to one of these emails, you will receive a message suggesting that you only have a limited time to reply and that you will be responsible for certain costs associated with the delivery of your winnings such as taxes, custom fees, insurance or other delivery costs. These bogus solicitations may then request bank account or credit card numbers.
If you receive one of these foreign lottery notifications, remember first and foremost that it is illegal for a U.S. resident to participate in a foreign lottery. In addition, remember:
If you still have questions about these lotteries or feel that you may have already been taken advantage of, contact the Office of the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555.