Lottery Scam Mail:
International Lotto Inc.
International Claims Department
The scammers are getting a slightly more clever - or they are
simply branching out into counterfeit checks (cheques). this one came in the
mail (the post, in your mailbox / letter box - not electronically). This one
claims to be from International Lotto Inc., and includes a check from Heartland
Employees Credit Union, drawn on Chemical Bank Montcalm, both in Michigan, while
the Lottery is supposedly based in "New Found Land", Canada. Obviously,
that doesn't add up, nor does misspelling "Newfoundland".
In addition to the usual lottery winning notification, they also
enclosed a check. A counterfeit check. It looks like a real check,
but anyone with a printer can do that these days. The clever part is, they claim
the check is to cover your taxes on the winnings. The instruct you to pay the
"tax agent" with this a moneygram, and to call your "disbursement agent for more
information". And how much do you want to bet that the "tax agent" doesn't
work for the government, but rather, the scammers!
Now, any accountant can tell you, that's not how it would work.
You would simply pay your taxes to the government out of the winnings, when you
receive the winnings. There's no "tax agent" involved; certainly not arranged
through the lottery, nor would a lottery send you part of the winnings to pay
taxes before you could receive the remainder of the winnings. That ought
to be a big sign that it is a scam.
Here's what is really going on: the scammer wants you to cash
their counterfeit check and then pay the "tax agent" (who is one of the
scammers) with a cashiers check or Western Union money order. They will
then cash that check and have the money before their fake check clears your
bank. When their fake check bounces, your bank will take the money out of
your account. And guess what? You may also get arrested and prosecuted for
a variety of felony crimes, such as passing bad checks and fraud.
Don't cash the check. Instead, call the FBI and ask them
to investigate. You can go to this website and
verify the routing number on the check and get the bank's phone number, then
call the bank to verify that the account is real and the check is real. Or hand it to your bank, NOT to cash, but their fraud
division to investigate it. If the account is legitimate, and it is a real
winning (which, of course, it is NOT - but we have to point this out for those
pathetic types who want to believe in the tooth fairy) you'll get the money.
We contacted the name of the account the check was drawn on,
"Heartland Employees Credit Union" and here's what they told us:
PLEASE ADVISE ANYONE THAT OUR
INSTITUTION DOES NOT HAVE CASHIERS CHECKS AND THAT IF THE CHECK
HAS A MANS NAME ON THE SIGNATURE LINE THAT IT IS INDEED
COUNTERFEIT AS WE ARE AN OFFICE WITH FIVE FEMALE EMPLOYEES.
CHEMICAL BANK IS NO LONGER CONSIDERED CHEMICAL BANK MONTCALM,
THOSE ARE THREE MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS THAT ARE NOT LEGITIMATE.
WE CONTACTED OUR LOCAL FBI OFFICIALS AND THEY ARE NOT WILLING TO
HELP SINCE WE ARE NOT DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY THE SCAM AND ARE NOT
AT A LOSS. HA ! ISN'T THIS ILLEGAL ? HOW FRUSTRATING. WE HOPE
THIS ALL COMES TO AN END SOON.
HEARTLAND EMPLOYEES CU
The lesson learned is DO NOT assume any check you receive is
real (if it isn't YOU will be liable for the loss) AND you should immediately
contact the FBI, since you are the victim, not the bank or name on the check.
Click here to locate your local FBI office's address and phone number.
Also see this page for a sample in the UK.
Names of Scam / Fake / Fraud Lottery
Click here for the huge list of the names of the currently identified lottery