“Congratulations! You might collect a certified check for up to $500,000,000 U.S. CASH!
Tax Free In One Lump Sum! Odds of WINNING are 1-6.”
“Thousands of U.S. Citizens win weekly by using our top secret system!
Win as much as you desire!”
Sounds Awesome? It’s A Scam.
I get asked this a lot. What are these international lottery scam letters all about, and what do I do if I fell for it? Let’s take a look.
Scammers, frequently situated in Canada, are not only using direct mail but also calling people and persuading them to purchase high-stakes chances in foreign lotteries as far off as Europe or Australia. These solicited lotteries breach U.S. law, which bans the cross-border purchase or sale of lottery tickets by mail or phone.
Despite that, federal authorities are heading off and destroying millions of international lottery mailings delivered or sent literally by the truckload to the U.S. And people, seduced by the thought of immediate wealth, are replying to these solicitations that do manage to get through in the amount of $120 million a year as reported by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
The U.S. consumer protection agency, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), states a majority of the solicitations for international lotteries are in all likelihood bogus. Many scammers do not even create actual physical lottery tickets. Others purchase some tickets, but keep whatever they “win” for themselves. Also, lottery swindlers use their mark’s bank account numbers to make unlawful withdrawals or their credit card numbers to jack up added charges.
Here are a few cautionary tips recommended by the FTC for people who are considering replying to a foreign lottery promotion:
- If you take part in a foreign lottery, whether it’s over the phone or by mail, you are breaking the law.
- There are no secret methods to win foreign lotteries. The chance of evening winning anything beyond the cost of your ticket is minuscule if at all.
- If you buy a foreign lottery ticket, you can anticipate receiving a whole lot more fake offers for lottery or investing “opportunities.” You will be put on “sucker lists” that scammer telemarketers buy and sell.
- Keep your bank and credit card numbers to yourself. Scammers frequently request them amid their unwelcome sales pitch.
Check out this video:
The Bottom Line
The FTC recommends that you disregard all phone and mail solicitations for foreign lottery advertising campaigns. If you receive what appears to be lottery information from a foreign county, hand it over to the local postmaster.
Report The Scam
If you think you have taken part in a scam, make a complaint with:
So, I hope I’ve been able to answer any questions you have on international lottery scam letters. Have you ever been a victim of a foreign lottery scam? Please share your experience in the comments below.
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