Lottery scams are among the most prevalent scams year after year and with good reason. Often blinded by their greed, many people fall for these scams and end up paying thousands of dollars to scammers and receive nothing in return. Generally, there are two ways that phony lotteries work. Either you are told that in order to claim your prize, you must pay administrative fees or income taxes to the lottery sponsor. In both cases, victims pay money to the phony lottery sponsors and never see a dime. Here is a copy of a recent lottery scam email that reads “Your transaction of $1,500,000.00 USD has been approved by UN/WU in the on-going poverty alleviation program 2016. This amount is to be remitted to you in daily installments of $7,600.00 USD via Western Union. Do Send your details (Full Name, Address and Phone Number) to the pay-out department via email… Best Regards, Western Union Malaysia. You can also see the prompt “Approved” and “Winner” appearing in the email.
As I have often told you, it is difficult to win a lottery you have entered. It is impossible to win one that you have not even entered. You should always be skeptical when told that you have won a lottery you never entered. It is also important to remember that it is illegal to play foreign lotteries unless you are present in the other country. While it is true that income taxes are owed on lottery winnings, legal lotteries never collect tax money from winners. They either deduct the taxes from the winnings or leave it up to the winners to pay their taxes directly to the IRS. As for administrative fees, you never pay a fee to collect a legal lottery prize.
It may be intentional that this particular lottery scam with its promise of 1.5 million dollars as part of an “on-going poverty alleviation program” is so ridiculous. Often, these scammers make their scams so outrageous because they don’t have to waste their time with potential victims who might have too many questions. They prefer to deal with more gullible and therefore easier victims.