Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Back to the "How to Recognize a Lottery Scam" page
If you receive a "prize notification" from a lottery:
U.S. Federal law enforcement authorities are intercepting and destroying millions of foreign lottery mailings sent or delivered by the truckload into the U.S. And consumers, lured by prospects of instant wealth, are responding to the solicitations that do get through-to the tune of $120 million a year, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says most promotions for foreign lotteries (of ANY kind) are likely to be phony. Many scam operators don't even buy the promised lottery tickets. Others buy some tickets, but keep the "winnings" for themselves. In addition, lottery hustlers use victims' bank account numbers to make unauthorized withdrawals or their credit card numbers to run up additional charges.
The FTC has these words of caution for consumers who are thinking about responding to a foreign lottery:
The bottom line, according to the FTC: Ignore all mail and phone solicitations for foreign lottery promotions. If you receive what looks like lottery material from a foreign country, give it to your local postmaster.
To report telemarketing fraud of any kind, contact your state Attorney General.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. r to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Sweepstakes offered via e-mail, like other commercial e-mail solicitations, must comply with the CAN-SPAM Act, effective January 1, 2004. This federal law mandates, among other things, that subject lines be honest and consumers can easily opt-out of receiving additional e-mails. (For more information on CAN-SPAM)
Click here to file a
complaint about a lottery scam
If you want to file a complaint about a violation of
National Do Not Call Registry or register your telephone number on the
If you want to file a report about Identity Theft, please
use the FTC's
Identity Theft Complaint Form.
If you have a specific complaint about unsolicited commercial e-mail
(spam), use the form below. You can forward spam directly to the Commission at
SPAM@UCE.GOV without using the complaint form.
If you want to file a complaint about an online
transaction that involves a foreign company, please
click here to use the econsumer.gov complaint form.
Below is a list of many known lottery scams. Many
originate in London, but they may use any address. Similarly, they
change their names frequently. Recognize a scam not merely by it's
name and location, but simply by the practice described above. And
If it sounds too good to be true: IT IS!!!!
Legitimate lotteries in most countries, like NZ (eg,
Lotto) have to be licensed to operate.
NONE of them use email to notify winners, and almost
none of them operate via the internet.
list of legitimate lotteries.