Lottery scams are the most common scam of all and with good reason. They work. Too many people become blinded by the idea of winning a lottery that they have not even entered, which certainly would be a difficult thing to do, and respond when they are notified that they have won a lottery. Once they respond, they are told that it is necessary to pay administrative fees or taxes before they can receive their huge prize. Often the lotteries appear to be from foreign countries, such as Jamaica which has become a hotbed of lottery scams. Shortly after the victim sends his or her fees or taxes to the supposed lottery sponsor, he or she soon learns that the entire thing was a scam and they have lost the money forever that they sent to the scam artist, still the only criminal we refer to as an artist.
Here is a copy of an email that came to me under the heading of “Good News” which describes a phony Spanish lottery.
Your Email Address has won the sum of €1.500.000.00(One Million and Five Hundred Thousand Euros) in the 2013 VENTURA Online International Email Sweepstakes Program draw rolled through a computer Ballot system in Madrid Spain on the 30th of October 2013.
Reference Number 8609/3445/0098
Batch Number 5509/6776/6654
Winning Number 7065/8890/4545
Lottery Date 30th of October 2013
Place Madrid Spain.
All winnings must be claimed not later than 14 days and so do state the mode of payment you will prefer. 1.Cheque,2.Bank Transfer/Congratulations!!!
Mrs Nancy Panzarella,”
You never win a lottery that you have not entered. That should be the first tip off that the lottery notice you receive is a scam. It is also important to note that it is illegal for Americans to play foreign lotteries. But most important are the facts that legitimate lotteries do not charge you for administrative fees in order to claim your prize and as for income taxes, while it is true that lottery winnings are indeed subject to income taxes, those taxes are either deducted from your prize before you receive the prize or the income taxes are left as your responsibility to pay the IRS. Lotteries never collect tax money from you directly.