Consumer Fraud Reporting

Reporting on the Latest Frauds, Scams, Fake Lotteries, Spams and Hoaxes

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Phony Lottery  Websites, "Lottery Winning Systems" and Scam Lottery Promotions

We discussed on this page the fake lottery winning notification scam, but another form of lottery scam occurs when you buy a foreign lottery ticket or buy a book or website's system of "how to win lotteries". The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the United State’s consumer protection agency, says almost all promotions for foreign lotteries are very likely to be phony.

How are they phony?

  1. Many scam operators don’t even buy the promised lottery tickets.
  2. Others buy some tickets, but keep the “winnings” for themselves.
  3. In addition, lottery hustlers use victims’ bank account numbers to make unauthorized withdrawals or their credit card numbers to run up additional charges.

What's the harming in playing?

The FTC has these words of caution for consumers who are thinking about responding to a foreign lottery:

  • If you play a foreign lottery — through the mail or over the telephone — you’re violating federal law. It is illegal for U.S. citizens to participate in foreign lotteries.
  • There are no secret systems for winning 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 lotteries, fake lottery "winning systems" or scam investment “opportunities.” Your name will be placed on “sucker lists” that fraudulent telemarketers and scammers buy and sell.
  • Keep your credit card, checking and bank account numbers to yourself. Scam artists often ask for them during an unsolicited sales pitch.

The bottom line, according to the FTC: Ignore all mail and phone solicitations for foreign lottery promotions. If you receive what looks like lottery material in the mail from a foreign country, give it to your local postmaster for investigation.

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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