December 29, 2006
CONSUMER ALERT: FOREIGN LOTTERY SCAMS ARE CONVINCING
Denton, Maryland woman received a letter in the mail claiming
that she had won $60,000 in the British Columbia
with the letter was a check for $2,870.00. The letter instructed
the woman to call a representative for further information. The
woman called the representative and was instructed to deposit the
check in her bank account and then in turn, send a check in the
amount of $2,700.00 via Western Union to cover transfer fees and “clearance
fees.” Once the check is received, she was told, the lottery
winnings would be sent to her. She deposited the check into her
account and then sent $2,700.00 by Western Union to an address
in New York, New York. Days later, the woman’s bank called
and said that the check she deposited had bounced and that her
account was overdrawn. She tried to contact the representative
at the number listed on the letter, but could no longer get through.
She had been duped.
lottery scams, just like the one described above, have been around
for years. You can be notified you are
a “winner” by
mail or e-mail and some people have been contacted by phone. These
scams come from all across the globe. The one thing they have in
common is that the “winners” are asked to send money
in order to claim their prizes, supposedly for taxes, processing,
insurance or some other reason. Of course, they never come out “winners” and
instead lose their own money.
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. warns consumers to be
on the look out for these types of scams.
They may be convincing,
but are always phony. Attorney General Curran warns consumers to
be especially wary of “Award Notifications” or similar
notifications that come accompanied with a check. The Consumer
Protection Division has received an increase in reports of consumers
who have received such notifications.
artists will do anything to cheat consumers out of their money
and have gone as far as sending checks that look so
real that they are accepted by the bank teller without question.
it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is,” Curran
Consumers who have received these types of notifications may file
a report with the Consumer Protection Division or report it to
the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
more information on foreign lottery scams or similar scams, go
to www.oag.state.md.us/consumer/edge122.htm to view the newsletter,
Consumer’s Edge or call 410-576-6500 to receive a copy.