Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Of the many reports of lottery, sweepstakes and promotions scams we receive, most are such obvious scams, they are easy to spot. Some are not so easily detected or verified. We pass those on below, with the understanding that we are not able to independently confirm or deny them. If you find yourself in a situation like those described below, we would urge you take caution.
Although the most important clue is that no legitimate lottery will ever email a winner, there are many other signs that this is a fraud, not the least of which are:
Email address ballot: There is no such thing as a "computer ballot system" or "computer email draw". No one, not even Microsoft has a database of email addresses of the type or magnitude they suggest.
"No tickets were sold": You care to explain where the money comes from? Perhaps the lottery money fairy? Why would a lottery give away money to "email address randomly selected by a computer ballot draw system"? This is CLEARLY nonsense: you MUST, repeat MUST buy a ticket to have a chance of winning any lottery!
Terrible spelling, punctuation, syntax and grammar - Scammers apparently don't know how to use spell checkers. We assume they dropped out of school before that class. They use almost excessive and random CapItaLiZAtion. Names are usually in all capital letters for some reason known only to these illiterate criminals. They often can't even spell "February" or know that "22th" ought to be "22nd". These scammers usually write at the 3rd grade level. Being non-native English speakers, they also often get first names and surnames (last names reversed), so you will frequently see names like "Mr. SMITH JAMES.", instead of "Mr. James Smith", along with the peculiar usage of periods (full stops) and spaces or the lack thereof. Real lotteries also proofread their emails and look and read more professional.
Using free email account: The scammer is writing to you from a FREE email account (Yahoo, Hotmail, Excite, AIM, Gmail, etc.). Don't you think a real organization would use it's own email, it's own domain and website?
Keep Confidential - Real lotteries THRIVE on publicity - they don't want you to keep anything secret - the publicity causes people to buy more tickets. there is NO risk of "double claiming" because they can validate where the ticket numbers were sold. The scammer want you to keep quiet because they don't want the police or ConsumerFraudreporting to hear about them! It should read: "For our own security, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential until we have finished scamming you!"
Email notification: NO REAL LOTTERY SENDS AN EMAIL TO NOTIFY WINNERS. Period. Full-stop. End of story. There mere fact ALONE that you received an email saying you won a lottery is proof that it is a scam.
Here is a typical scam lottery winning notification.
March 27, 2008:
There is a International Sweepstakes fraud going on. I received a check in the mail for $3,890.00 from an international sweepstakes. The letter said that I had won a sweepstakes from last year weith a winning ticket #TS2564-98T in which I had won the sumof $183,200.00 in US money and the money was placed under government authorized bond. The company is located at 200-10455 Jefferson Hwy Baton Rouge, La. I have checked the internet and found nothing of this sweepstakes place. they also assigned me a agent his name is Kevin Jones his phone number is 1-778-316-4408 and the toll free number that's suppose to be the prize office but there is no answer and they don't call back is 1-877-586-4228. I have the letter they nmailed me with the check for $3,890.00 and this is supposed to be used for insurance and processing fees for the big check in the amount of $183,200.00. The check I received had ALM Corporation on it. The bank it came from was Citizens Bank but I can't remember where it was located. Could you please help me and help so others don't have to go through this
* Re: emails of winnings. We know of only ONE exception in the world to this rule - and if you bought a ticket from them, you would know it, and would used their safegaurds.
* Re: emails of winnings. We know of only ONE exception in the world to this rule - and if you bought a ticket from them, you would know it, and would not be questioning it.