Scam of the day – January 23, 2014 – Bayford lottery scam

January 23, 2014 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

In 2012 Adrian and Gillian Bayford of Suffolk, England were lucky enough to win 148 million pounds in the EuroMillions lottery.  Since that time there have been a number of emails, including one that has recently surfaced, in which you are told that the Bayfords are donating money to a number of people around the world as part of a charity to improve the lives of people and that you are one of those lucky people.  Often the email to you will include a link to a newspaper story about the Bayfords winning the lottery.  Of course, like all lottery scams, you at first are told that there is no cost to you, but then cost upon cost is required before you can get the money.  This scam ended up costing an elderly Australian man $200,000.  Whether the costs requested are for administrative fees, taxes or whatever, they are just a part of a scam from which you will receive nothing.

TIPS

As I have endlessly told you, you do not win contests that you have not entered and no legitimate lottery or giveaway, such as described in this scam ever requires you to pay costs to receive your money.  While income taxes are indeed owed on the winnings, they are not paid to the sponsor of the contest, but directly by you to the IRS or other taxing authority.  You never pay taxes to the contest sponsor.  While the scammers thought they were being clever by referring to the names of actual lottery winners in the scam email, it also can be part of their downfall because if you Google “Bayford scam” you will find information letting you know that this is a scam.  By the way, lucky in contests doesn’t necessarily mean that you are lucky everywhere.  The Bayfords split up in November of 2013 although they say that they are still friends.