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Lottery Scams - What Happens If You Reply to Them

As we've said on the lead page about lottery scams, there is NO SUCH THING as a legitimate lottery that "selected your email from a database" or a "computer ballot system".  IF you receive an email saying you've won a lottery and you didn't buy a ticket; it IS a fraud.  And obviously, this means that the people who sent you the email are criminals working a con.

If you do contact them:

  1. The will ask for contact information (name, address, phone number) and more personal information, often

  2. bank account information, passport, driver's license numbers, etc.

  3. Money - eventually, they will tell you they need you to pay a "handling fee" or taxes, wire transfer costs, before they can release your winnings. And they'll tell you not to worry; you're protected, they won't cash it until you receive the winnings, or the transfers will occur at the same time.

There is an example reply email from a scammer below that illustrates this. Notice how the scammer keeps saying it's all legitimate, don't worry, even "i suggest you bask in the euphoria of your winnings."

Remember: IT IS A CON - THEY WILL TELL YOU ANYTHING YOU WANT TO HEAR!!!! But just because they say it, doesn't make it true. 

  • If you play a foreign lottery-through the mail or over the telephone-you're violating U.S. federal law, so don't expect any help from the government.
  • There are no secret systems for winning foreign lotteries. Your chances of winning more than the cost of your tickets are slim to none.
  • If you purchase one foreign lottery ticket, expect many more bogus offers for lottery or investment "opportunities." Your name will be placed on "sucker lists" that fraudulent telemarketers buy and sell.
  • Keep your credit card and bank account numbers to yourself. Scam artists often ask for them during an unsolicited sales pitch.

Sample response from a scammer, after you reply to them:

Sent: Tuesday, 13 February, 2007 3:18:54 PM

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dear Sir/Madam,

Greetings of the day to you,

Firstly to allay any doubt that you harbor with regards to the viability of your winnings I have attached herewith a letter of guarantee issued this day by Powerball lottery international and the financial services authority which is the fiscal authority implementing your funds release and subsequent transfer to you, the letter of guarantee states that your winning sum of one million euros will be couriered to you within 72hrs of receipt of your payment details for the requisite fee of 500. The letter of guarantee is the only legal certification that I can give to you it is legally binding and no subsequent instrument of name or title can repudiate the validity of the letter.

Furtherance to the above please be informed that the courier fee cannot be deducted from your winnings as we received your one million euros from the sending authority as a certifiable bank draft, which cannot be deducted from or transacted upon until duly lodged in your nominated bank account. I entreat your understanding in this regard.

Conclusively I will ask that you dispel any iota of fear that you harbor with regards to the authenticity of this lottery, instead of harboring doubt I will suggest that you bask in the euphoria of your winnings. It is a fact that you won the sum of one million euros and this sum will be transferred unfailingly to you once we receive details of your payment for the 500.

I await your earliest response.

Claims Officer

Conversation with a scammer

Would you like see the transcript of an actual conversation with a scammer who sent us a "winning notification" email?

Click here for the transcript.


This is the response we got when we replied to a "winning e-mail"

Sat, 16 Dec 2006 15:54:46 +0000 (GMT)

From: Send an Instant Message "Euro Millions Lottery" <> View Contact Details View Contact Details Add Mobile Alert

Yahoo! DomainKeys has confirmed that this message was sent by Learn more


To: "CFR"


Dear Sir/Madam,

You don't have to purchase a ticket to enter this lottery, your email indicating you as a winner in the lottery programs held by the EUROMILLIONS LOTTERY was received. Your email address was selected through the computer ballot system drawn from over 25,000,000 company and 40,000,000 individual email addresses, your email address attached to a single ticket was found as one of the lucky email address that emerge from the first category to have won the sum of 1,000.000.00, One million united state dollars, the information was passed to you by the lottery coordinator to ensure that we are in contact with the rightful owner of the winning email address to avoid double claiming. To commence on the processing of your Winning Prize as your claim agent, you are advised to provide us with the following information:

(1) Your Full Name

(2) Your Complete Address

(3) Telephone/ Fax numbers

Upon receipt of the above information, we shall send to you via fax/email attachment the PRIZE CLAIM FORM which you will fill in your particulars and send back to this office. Upon receipt of "Prize Claim Form" from you, we shall officially apply for the claim of your winning prize and upon verification by the Lottery coordinator; they will send us a "Release Order" confirming you as the bona-fide winner. Form B6 (Payment Scheme) will also be send to you, requesting you to indication your preferred mode of payment as soon as we have the release order. AND YOU WILL BE INVITED TO SIGN THE RELEASE DOCUMENT, as well as the certificate of award to be presented to you.

The form B6 must be completed and return back to us and the processing of your claim will be completed within four (4) working days and subsequently you will receive the total sum of ($1,000,000.00) One million United States Dollars.

Finally, if you are satisfied with our terms and conditions, please do indicate by sending us the necessary information as required above to enable us commence the processing of your claim. Good luck.

Best Regards,

MR.Ray Karl Williams,




The Bottom Line: What You Need to Know

Click here for page 2;  to find out what to do if you receive a lottery email.

Names of Scam / Fake / Fraud Lottery 

Click here for the huge list of the names of the currently identified lottery scams companies


Copyright CFR 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009  - Definition of scam, fraud, etc.Legal disclaimer / corrections / complaints  -  Privacy Policy
Names used by scammers in the examples on this page and others often belong to real people and businesses who often have no knowledge of nor connection to the scammer's use of their name and information.  Sample scam emails and other documents are copies of the scam to help potential victims recognize and avoid it.  You should presume that any names used and presented here in a scam are either fictitious or used without their legitimate owner's permission.
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