Lottery Scam is a form of advance fee fraud or money laundering. Every day thousands of false emails are sent to potential victims. You may be tempted to try out if the scam is real, but doing so can be dangerous. If you post any of your personal information, the scammer may collect it and in some later case will play YOU as his character. There is no need telling he will use your name for fraudulent activities. He may use your personal information to get jobs in your name. He may use it to steal from people and transfer the money into an account with your name. All your money may be used and gone if a scammer obtains sensitive information. During the procedure of a lottery scam you may lose your money or your identity could be stolen. Both of them are equally dangerous. Below I am posting an email example of a lottery scam a potential victim has sent me in order to analyze the letter for him:
For “Email User”
This is to inform you that your email ID has won US $ 1,500,000.00 in the first category of our computer ballot email lottery with the said winning numbers giving below;
E-Ticket number07-32-44-45-50 (01-07)
Prize Number (match 3): 106000009
Contact the Paying Bank
Bank: Laagste Heypotheekofferte Bank. N.L.
Contact Person: Dr. Nicolaas Melzen.
You are also advice to furnish them with the following information:
Telephone / Fax
Mrs. Mrs. Dumald van Hook (Lottery Director) De Nederlandse Dayzers Promotion
Official Website: www.dayzers.nl
This is so exciting. I have never won anything before! No Problem. I will get back to you within the next 7 days. I need to know exactly how much the costs are involved and the details for the deposit. You must please take into consideration that Foreign Transaction in South Africa take at least 3 – 4 working days to process so if that is my time limit, I would appreciate it if you could get back to me as soon as possible so that I can make arrangements.
Attn: “Email User”
This is to validate the winning notification we received from you and Dayzer Lottery NL E-ticket number: 07-32-44-45-50 (01-07). And Prize match3, 106000009. You will receive the sum of 1,500,000.00 (One Million Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars) from us as the winner of the last sweepstake of Dayzer Lottery NL.
HOW TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE: You are hereby advised to let us know if you want to come to The Netherlands to claim your winning prize or you want your funds transferred to you through certified bank cheque or bank to bank transfer (Wire Transfer).
NOTE: However, with regards to the above, your prize winning will be released to your local bank account in your country or a certified bank cheque will be send to you within 72-hours. After you have paid for the cost of logistics. This include the fees for the processing of your claim, notarization, payment of stamp duties, and cost of signing the ‘remittance-advice’ for the release of your funds from the lottery? account into your new account with us. Please note that you have less than 7 working days to complete the transfer of your funds from The Nederland to your local bank account in your country.
We look forward to an enduring banking relationship with you.
Thanks for your cooperation.
Tel: + 31-620-896-689
Fax: + 31-847-186-055
Karspeldreef 6A, 1101 CJ, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
END OF CONVERSATION
How to recognize this and similar lottery scams?
1. You received the “winning email” but you haven’t participated in the contest or bought a ticket. Institutions can’t just randomly pick you if you are not even in their database! To win in a contest you firstly had to enter it by the means that your institution required. In a lottery you do that usually with purchasing a ticket but some require different means to enter the contest such as writing a song, making of an item, giving your best idea on a certain subject… List is endless, however the all of them have one thing in common, you must personally participate! It is against the law to make use of your email address without your permission.
2. The country of the lottery does not match your living country or you are not citizen of it.
3. Without entering the contest in the first place you received an email including your personal information. This email could include your name, address, city and zip code, phone number and maybe even your credit card or bank account number! If you did not personally enter this information and did not participate in the contest you may even have been a victim of identity fraud!
4. If you wanted to buy a lottery ticket you did not have to enter your personal information.
5. You never heard of the lottery company. Even if the name is real and is registered it may still just be a masquerade. Swindlers may use legitimate names for their fraud activities.
6. You are being said that “Participants” were selected randomly from any world wide country and the price is part of a promotion program.
7. Any request for money to be paid in advance. Usually such requests occur in later replies and not in the first “winning notification”. Any fees that could occur would be directly deducted from your actual win or for paying taxes you only do this with the usual method by filling the tax form and sending it directly to your government. Foreign government taxes are being deducted before payout. Such a scam is called an advance fee fraud. Legitimate lotteries will never ask for money!
8. There is no website or official rules. All lotteries must be registered and licensed with a gaming commission or regulator. A regulator may be ministry of finance, ministry of economics, national gaming authority… Click here for an example list of regulators in Europe. World Lotteries provides a great list of official government lotteries. Check under directory. Also visit North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries if you are interested.
9. You are being sent a counterfeit check or money that needs to be cleaned. Once you receive this amount you will be told you need to give some amount back or forward it to a bank account/person because too much was sent. This way you will clean the money. The checks/drafts may be stolen or counterfeit. Read more in Check Fraud.
10. You have to travel to another country in order to claim your winnings. If you would travel you would probably soon recognize there is no prize waiting for you or you would meet face to face your scammer which could be potentially dangerous. This “rule” also is used to fool you. Rarely someone is willing to travel for a supposed prize they know nothing of. Swindlers know this, so once you say you will not travel they will make up fees you have to pay to claim your win.