Phony lotteries are a common type of scam for one big reason.  They work.  Unfortunately, many people become convinced that they have won a lottery that they never even entered and end up paying money to the scammers under the guise of required taxes or administrative fees in order to claim a prize that never comes.  Here is a copy of an email presently being circulated about a lottery in which the prize is a new BMW automobile.

“Dear Winner,

This is to inform you that you have been selected for a prize
of a brand new 2015 Model BMW 7 Series Car and a Check of $1,500,000.00 USD from
the international balloting programs held on the 28th of June 2015 in the UNITED

Description of prize vehicle; Model: 760Li Color (exterior): Metallic Silver Mileage: 5 Transmission: Automatic 6  Speed

Options: Cold weather package, premium package, fold down rear seats w/ski bag, am fm stereo with single in dash compact disc player.

The selection process was carried out through random selection in our computerized email selection system (ESS) from a database of over 230,000 email addresses drawn from all the continents of the world which you were selected.

The BMW Lottery is approved by the British Gaming Board and also Licensed by the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR). To begin the processing of your prize you are to contact our fiduciary claims department for more information as regards procedures to the claim of your prize.

Name: Mr.
Anderson Lucas

Contact him by providing him with your secrete pin code Number BMW:2581346003/29.

You are also advised to provide him with the under listed information as soon as possible:

1. Name In Full:
2. Residential Address:
3. Nationality:
4. Age:
5. Sex:
7. Direct Telephone Number:
8. Present Country:
9. Email address:
10. Pin code Number BMW: 2581346003/29

Please provide him with the above listed details as soon as possible.

Congratulations once more from all our staff and thank you for being part of our promotional program.

Ms Becky Gregg


The salutation of “Dear Winner” instead of being directed to the recipient of the email by name is an initial tip off that this is a scam.  Also, there is no BMW Lottery Department.  As difficult as it is to win a lottery you have entered, it is impossible to win one that you never even entered.  It is also important to remember that no legitimate lottery requires you to pay them anything to claim your prize and as for income taxes, although income taxes are owed on lottery winnings, the taxes are either deducted from the prize or the prize winner is responsible for paying the taxes on his or her own to the IRS.  Legitimate lotteries never collect tax payments.