I often write about phony lottery scams because year after year they are among the most common and effective scams 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  end up receiving 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 I received.  It purports to be from the International Monetary Fund, an international financial organization which works under the United Nations and which does not ever offer lotteries.  This is a poorly constructed phishing email that contains numerous instances of poor grammar and spelling and makes no sense whatsoever.  The email addresses contained within the email may well be those of innocent people whose emails have been hacked.  We can’t tell from the email, if the email addresses are those of the scammers or merely email addresses they control through a botnet.

“$5,000 PAYMENT”
Wann Dienstag, 27 September 2016
12:30 PM bis 01:30 PM
(GMT) Greenwich Mean Time – Dublin/Edinburgh/Lissabon/London
Mail Dear Email ID Owner, USD $5,000 PAYMENT WE SENT TODAY TO PICK UP. The IMF is compensating all the email addresses,was fund as one of the ward win Victims and your mail address with your name is listed among one of the approved to pay sum of US$2.5 million. We have concluded to effect your own payment through Western Union Money Transfer for easy pick up those fund in good condition,$5,000 twice daily until the total sum of US$2.5 million is completely transferred to you. Now: we need your information where we will be sending the funds as following below: (1)Your Full name…: (2)Your Phone number:… (3)Your Country:… (4)Your Age:… (5)Your private E-Mail..: For urgent enquiry call Tel; +229 66024650 Mr.Steven Moses for the payment E-mail 🙁wesunion.wu101@gmail.com ) Call Steve immediately you get this mail to enable him speed up your payment immediately to released US$5000 dollar MTCN to you for picking up the payment today ok Best Rgards, Mrs.Esther Richardson. Private e-mail: eestherichardson@hotmail.com IMF MANAGEMENT.



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.