Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
There is a real company (but not operating within the law) based in the Netherlands going by the name Overseas Lottery Agents, OSA or OSA Lotteries that provides a service of buying lottery tickets on behalf of buyers in another country. This is because legitimate lotteries do not allow their tickets be be sold outside their borders, and in most cases, any winner who is not present in the country during the sale is legally barred from collecting any winnings.
Overseas Subscribers Agents are ticket sellers for super lotteries such as Euromillions, El Gordo and USA Mega Jackpot. Their sick emails and postal letters include letters headed with a fake $750,000,000 cheque, check or a share certificate made out in your name.
Single award payouts are advertised as $75,000,000 to $300,000,000. Tickets or shares in syndicates typically cost between $27 to $100. The return envelope is marked "International Processing Center" with an address in The Netherlands.
"We are legitimate agents for a variety of government lotteries, having disbursed substantial winning payments for 17 years, since 1988, and have earned the trust and confidence of citizens around the globe, including clients in Australia," the letter reads.
"Be advised that there are deceptive operations that have recently engaged in criminal activities that have misled and materially harmed numerous people, creating scepticism that affects legitimate operations such as OSA and others."
But OSA itself is a scam - or at least illegal in most of the countries where their clients appear to be located: the UK, Australia and the USA!
It is illegal to promote overseas lotteries in Australia, the UK, the United States and many other countries. USA laws also prohibit the cross-border sale or purchase of American lottery tickets. Check out the US Federal Trade Commission for further information .
Further, the Spanish Ministry of the Treasury has advised us that legitimate lottery tickets can only be purchased from authorized ticket sellers in Spain. Let us repeat that: The El Gordo and other legal Spanish lotteries are only open to Spanish residents - you CANNOT win if you are not resident IN Spain.
Beyond all of this, there are scammers sending fake emails that appear to come from OSA.
The bottom line is STAY AWAY FROM OSA!
Here is a typical scam lottery winning notification.
Below is yet another example of a fake lottery . Again, note the poor format and poor grammar. They also expect a payment in order to receive your winnings. If paying a fee to receive unsolicited winnings from a lottery makes sense to you; then you are too gullible to be allowed to have a bank account....
To: Rob Lowe <Rob.firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: El Gordo Online-Entry Notification
Thank you for subscribing to the El Gordo Draw! Your order was received on 5 November 2007 2:30:56 PM
Further to your instructions, this is to confirm your ticket purchase as follows:
You have purchased 2 Ticket(s) for EUR140
: December 22, 2007
: 5 November 2007 2:30:56 PM
Cardholder's Name : Rob Lowe
Credit Card Number : XXXX....3017 (Hidden for Security Purposes)
Credit Card Type : vi
Expiry Date : 09/09
Amount Charged : EUR 140
This net amount is being charged to your credit card account by Overseas Subscriber Agents (OSA) who are entering your ticket numbers into the El Gordo Draw on your behalf. Should you have any questions about these charges, please do not hesitate to email us at email@example.com.
After approving the above charges, please check your personal and other contact details printed below and notify OSA immediately if any of these details are incorrect.
First Name : Rob
Last Name : Lowe
Address : 2C, Haasiapolku, Vantaa, Varisto
State : Uusimaa
Zip Code : 01660
Country : (FI) - Finland
Office Phone : -
Home Phone : -
Fax : -
Buena Suerte! (Good Luck!)
Carmen Vasquez Prada
OSA Prize Coordinator for El Gordo
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2007 12:01:33 -0600
To: Rob Lowe <Rob.Lowe@mobintele.com>
From: El Gordo Draw <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: El Gordo Online-Entry Notification - FRAUDULENT SCAM??
November 6, 2007
Thank you for your e-mail.
We checked our records in the El Gordo and there was no entries
processed under your name or your account.
Overseas Subscribers Agents has been entering players into overseas
Government Lotteries, and collecting and sending them their winnings since
1988. Over 150,000 international players have taken advantage of this
service, and many still continue to enter their favorite Lotteries with
their special numbers.
We don't make false claims, and doesn't touch a cent of your winnings. When
you enter a National Lottery through OSA or any of our affiliate companies,
you do so with complete confidence that your entry will be processed by
authorized Lottery Agents, licensed by the government of the country in
which the Lottery is held.
OSA keeps you updated on all current Jackpots and Draw results so you can
join in whenever you want. The company processes your entry, and then
collects and sends you your cash winnings IN FULL. No hidden commissions, no
false claims, no empty promises. Just efficient, reliable service performed
with uncompromising integrity.
OSA takes no commissions or fees of any sort from any Lottery winnings
collected by its players. With OSA, what you win - is what you keep.
When you win, you'll receive a Results / Prize Notification showing you the
Lottery, the Draw, the Division Number and the prize amount you've won. Once
your winnings are confirmed, your prize money is remitted to you by OSA.
Winners of cash prizes exceeding US$1,000 will be contacted immediately by
phone. There is no record of OSA failing to send in prize winnings - and
there never will be.
Prizes can be sent to you either in cash, bank draft or by telegraphic
transfer depending on the amount won.
Please be informed that we have set our costs to cover overheads, ticket
costs, administration and provide a profit as we do not get commission from
the payout winnings which some companies deduct during claiming of winnings.
The additional charges are for the services we offer.
We make sure that your subscription is monitored. This includes sending of
Entry Confirmation, sending of Results and Prize Notifications, collecting
and sending your winnings.
We receive e-mails expressing the excellent value and have been operating
for the last 19 years and over 150,000 International Players have taken
advantage of our service and many still continue to enter Major draws, and
have had "write ups" in various newspapers and magazines around the world.
The vast majority of our subscribers are "on-line" but we still have
subscribers who have been playing for the last 19 years and still play by mail.
Should you require more information, please feel free to contact us again.
"Loterķas y Apuestas de Estado (LAE) would like to inform the general public that a number of groups of criminals of various nationalities are using the prestige and the commercial names of the Spanish Lottery by fraudulent means in several countries. They move easily around the whole world and use mobile telephones, PO boxes, provisional or false addresses (including real addresses of official Spanish organisations), as well as names that bring to mind prestigious institutions ("el Gordo", la Primitiva", "European Lottery Commission", etc.) They also forge the printed sheets and signatures of various banks or insurance firms.
In order to carry out the fraud, the procedure that is generally followed consists of informing the potential victim that they have been the lucky winner of a substantial prize (even if they have not participated in any draw), although they cannot collect this prize until they have paid an amount going towards the taxes, bank costs, delivery costs or insurance processing, etc. Usually, the fraudster warns their potential victim that the deadline to pay these charges is very soon and that their right to collect the prize is about to expire.
Loterķas y Apuestas del Estado, that is, the Spanish Lottery, wants to inform very clearly the following:
To win a prize of the Spanish lottery is essential to have purchased previously lottery or bets of our range of products.
Spanish lottery prizes are always free of taxes and burdens.
When you are offered "prizes" that seem to be linked to the Spanish Lottery, DO NOT PAY ANY AMOUNT. We are, in all probability, before a criminal fact that must be reported to the authorities. The Spanish Police has already arrested and subjected to legal procedures some of the members of groups who were operating from Spain.
If you have any question, please contact: