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Checking Into Foreign Lotteries and Sweepstakes

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Have you received an official-looking letter saying you won a foreign lottery or sweepstakes? Responding to it can be tempting: After all, maybe there’s a possibility that you won some money that could turn your dreams into reality!

The letter usually comes with a cashier’s check. It says the check is to help cover the taxes and fees associated with claiming your prize money. You just need to deposit the check into your account, and wire part of the money to cover those taxes and fees back to the people who sent it to you. You get to keep the rest of the money you deposited, and the full amount of the prize money you’ve “won.”

There’s a catch! Unfortunately, many people think the cashier’s check accompanying the letter is real. It’s not. It’s a trick to get you to deposit the counterfeit check into your account and wire money to someone you don’t know before your bank discovers the check is a fake and holds you responsible for the full amount.   

If you are someone who trusts these kinds of offers and follows up by wiring money for fictional taxes and fees, you’re not only out of luck, but also out of money.

Here’s how to protect yourself from counterfeit check scams:

  • Throw away any offer asking you to pay for a prize or a gift. If it’s free or a gift, you shouldn’t have to pay for it. Free is free.  
  • Don’t enter any foreign lotteries, even for fun. It’s illegal to play a foreign lottery through the mail or the telephone, and most foreign lottery and sweepstakes solicitations are phony.
  • Never agree to deposit a check from someone you don’t know. The check will bounce, and you’ll owe your bank the money you withdrew. By law, banks must make the funds from deposited checks available within a day or two, but it can take weeks to uncover a counterfeit check. It may seem that the check has cleared and that the money is in your account, but you’re responsible for the checks you deposit. If a check turns out to be a fake, you owe the bank the money you withdrew based on that check.
  • Never wire money to someone you don’t know. Wiring money is like sending cash; you can’t trace it – and once it’s sent, you can’t get it back.


Fake Checks Can Cost You

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


easy to throw away the check--how about a prosecution of these evil B------S !!!

This is not the first time that someone tried to scam me. Luckily, my friends were looking out for me, however, I have learned to pick them out quickly. It makes me angry that people do this. I want these people arrested and put in jail.

Don't even bother reporting. Consumer affairs contacted me after I reported the fraud and they were so short (less than a minute), I called the FTC to verify the validity of Consumer affairs. That was even a bigger waste of time. All they did was ask for the reference number, validated my home address, phone, and email address...that's it. Seriously, that was all she did. Didn't ask about the incident. I'm wondering about the validity of this site. I can see why consumers don't bother to report anything. Apparently, a huge waste of tax payers money. I'll never report again and will let all my family, friends, and co-workers know the result of all this.

It's important to submit a complaint because investigators from all over the country access the FTC's complaint database. The details in your complaint can help in their investigations. If you had already submitted a complaint, you can update it by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.   Watch this video to learn more about how to file a complaint with the FTC and why it matters.

I just received a letter in an envelope with no return address confirming that I had won 4,950.00. It didn't say that I had to send any money but it did say that I needed to contact a Dr David Morgan of the FundexSecurity the Foreign service agent. There is a phone and fax #.
Tho person is suppose to tell me how to get the money from which the 5% is to come from. I shot-canned the letter. It even had a stamp supposedly approved and certified by the US government October 10, 2017.

I received the same letter today (3/11/19) but the amount is$4,950,000.00. to contact a Dr David Morgan at Fundpay Consultant Claims SL. It is supposedly from Euromillones in Madrid Spain. So is this a scam or not ??

Lol, I just received the very same mail, wording the same, with a deadline date of Sept. 20 2019, with a phone no. 011 34 677 026 572. I have to be in Madrid to claim my payment? And pay any administrative charge. Well...... I've made no plans to visit Madrid anytime soon. This is fraud, has to be.

What do I do after giving out some personal information on my email sight Yahoo. I gave address phone number and birthdate. It was a sweepstakes international.

I received one of these in the mail. The check does look real. I checked the routing number and does exist for that bank but I can't match anything else. This is from Mega Millions Sweepstakes with offices in Florida and Ireland. I wish these criminals would stop doing this and get an honest job.

I received a check and confirmed the acct# and name on check. Address on check was different however. I contacted my bank and they did say the bank it was drawn returned the check. Thank God I never lost any monies. I did however confirmed my name and address. Hope that want cost me

Advise beware of area codes of 876 out of Jamaica.It may just be a scam in which could be costly. It costed us a good bit of money for our family at Christmas. Felling pretty stupid right about now.

I got the same phone call from 876 area code. He got me for several thousand as well. I don't believe anyone anymore. Getting phone calls from several different area codes to this day 1/6/14 which I don't answer.

I sent him money to, did you send all they asked for and still didn't receive anything? I haven't sent it all yet just some

Don't send them any more money. It is a scam. Any money you send is gone forever. They will try to trick you into sending more money. Be smart and stop it!

I sent them money also, what happened once you did send them all the money they asked for?

Be aware of letters from America Mega Million Lottery also with a 778 prefix. Letter also comes with a large check. I would like to know where to report this information.
I am afraid that someone is going to actually cash these checks.

Could you check out a one Microsoft Lottery India. 121-123 Free Press Free Press House Narimen Point, Mumbai Pin- 400021 4LF India Order PIn Code CIT-WLA1165203 They are offering me a prise of 800,000.00 Is this for real? Thank You James Contois

This sounds like a foreign lottery scam. You can report it to the FTC at

I would like to forward a message from microsoft Lottery, India. I was informed that I won 800,000.00. I would like to forward this information for you to check this out for me.

If you play a foreign lottery — through the mail or over the telephone — you’re violating federal law. Read the article International Lottery Scams for more information.

I just received a letter from the "International Sweepstake Lottery" (International Lotto Commission). Atth bottom of the letter it says - " GSLS is Government-licensed Lottery Service Agency, which has been marketing National Lotteries to overseas subscribers for over 23 years." The letter is signed by a "Prof. R. Isabelle (vice president)", has a I.D. number - 5868 1120 7341. Also has an address - CALLE CAPITAN HAYA NR.53, 28020 Madrid-Spain. Contact agent - Don Sam Blanco, the foreign service agent, Grill Santa Lucia Seguros SA, phone # 01134-652-766-086/fax # 0034-911-881-452. Ministerial De Economic Y Hacienda (if funds are unclaimed by Aug.8th,2015), also states that 5% of the winnings belong to GSLS SA because they are the promotion company that bought the ticket and played the lottery under "my name". Also states a batch number -BLE-M/2015-02ES; reference number-CH-889/277EU. The amount is 1,815,000.00 Euros (2,002,126.94$ U.S. dollars). I know it has to be a scam, but on the rare chance it is real, I hope all the information I gave can prove or disprove and with all the information I gave and it is a a scam, you can stop them (hopefully forever). Thank you!

This is useful information to put in a complaint. Please report this to the FTC at so it is added to the database that law enforcement uses. Blog comments don't go into the database.

Saying that i won lottery its is true

I got a call saying that win hundred thousand dollars.In the Maga millions sweepstakes commission and send me a check in the to put in bank and my bank said was not no good.

A relative just got taken for $100,000. For Liberty Sweepstakes. Mailed checks and wired money to PO Boxes in NY and Orlando to pay the taxes for the 3 million they won. 202 area code. I hope this saves someone and these crooks rot in Hell!! And get arrested.

Am reporting an International Sweepstakes Award from Spain that I won $1,200,000.00 & to call my agent Mr. David Perez at 0111 34611 278 111 for processing or delivery of a certified cashier's check to my address. Managing Director: Anna Aguirre: Also Rosario Diaz, Planta 4, Puerta B at 282888 Madrid or Dom Carlos, 1200 Lisboa, Portugal.

This was mailed to me & dated August 19, 2016

Received ck for 7,990.90 to cover tax,insurance, shipping and handling on my prize of 500,000.00 from Embassy Lottery. Ck was drawn on a real bank. Said to call a 778 area code number to speak with an Austin Boyd. Letter was signed by Andrew Jackson (lol). Be aware of this scam....


I just received one of these today. Thought about calling just to see what they said. Not sending them money or important info. Who did you contact to file a complaint?

You can report it to the FTC at

I have a microsft document t check its for 500,ooo dollars now no bank oisa going to pay out that amoubt without the check clearing its made as cash at any bank its a pdf document that I can take to a walgrens imaging for processing viewing the file online blurs out the coding on the bottom of ther check but theres a link that allows editing the check by my authorization using my pen number

I got a Mega Millions from President Mega Millions commission Carrera de san jeronmo, 228014 Puerta Sol Madrid Spin Tel; 011-34-675-341-184 Claim file numbers.... a lump sum of $4.500.00 USD I'm suppose to call this agent Don Magnus Williams the foreign Service manager of Diamond Trust security & Finance In order for me to get it I have to pay home delivery fee and insurance fee to our accredited diplomat. I'm very caution about this, no checks at all and I'm a lucky winners....yea right. I think this is a Spam.

received a short letter with an "official" check CITIBANK
N.A. $1,460.79 Remitter FTC LLC called the no 604-346-3028 got a recording then msg said mail box full. recieved this letter 8\31\2017 but it said must be claimed no later than 08\16\2017

Just received a check from grace Kennedy money services and was very interested to hear what they would say if I called and all they wanted to know was if I deposited the check and to call them back when I do and they will release the rest of the prize money, hummmmm.....NOT!!!! Be on the lookout for these people.

Just received a check stating I won half a million. With a check enclosed for me to endorse and send back for filing fees and paper work. Has this ever true proven as true or is it all scamming International??? I feel like winner. To see this about others is very hurtful.

Scam! I got same kind of letter. Mine was post marked from Portugal but with no check. Talked with Michael Sanchez,Foreign Service Manager/agent.Asked of I would come to Portugal to claim my check. Not possible. The said he would send another agent with the check but then said he could not do that because some agents have been robbed. The he said they could send a certified check.... but I would have to pay for insurance on the check.Also after cashing the check I would have to send 5% to his agency.There was a government approval stamp on the letter with a Washington d c address. I had a relative who works in D.C. check out the address. It was office space above a clothing store. If you know you didn't personally play a lottery or enter a drawing, don't send money or give I d or bank info. It's a scam.

I just received a letter stating for me to call and I did. He stated that I would receive a check and letter within 2 weeks and for me to call to activate the check and deposit in my bank to cover my winnings of 93,000. My name was drawn from shopping at Walmart. He stated that if I didn't deposit it to return the check. My winnings would be coming from FedEx. The cashiers check was from a bank in Chicago.The mail was from the UK. Toll free number 1866 or 1833

I also have been contacted by (Carrera de san Jeronmo2 to send a fee for the$ 4,500,000 I 've won from mega millions, send the taxes I
owe too the IRS and send the balance to me . get real people these
are scams. Dated Sept 6 2018 don't send your money Warning

Here it is 2018 and this very same scam continues - we have to watch out for each other.
Education is the best action for all to take and pass along - protect each other, because nobody will be getting arrested - trust this to be true. Let's especially our elderly ones or isolated individuals, as they are often viewed as 'Low Hanging Fruit' in the eyes of the the perpetrators may very well not be U.S. citizens (note the postmarks on the envelopes will often not be U.S.). Prosecution would require the involvement of multiple countries. Unfortunately, this isn't viewed as important as stealing and selling children into foreign lands.
Pass the message and thought along - anyone receiving this sort of 'bait' should check with police if they do not have the ability to use the Internet to search for SCAMS and also pass this sort of thing along to active community groups and local social services.

I too was informed that I won a Lump sum of $150,000 and spoke with Paul Boliton, and a David Morgan, I didn't lose any money but it hurt my feelings skittle bit but I'm a struggling single mom and my income goes straight to the bills nothing to go towards my girls or myself so yeah I was very hurt my believing in such a thing

I RECEIVED a letter from commission (AFFILIATED WITH ONCE ESPANA) Listeria del Rosario, no.19 plant 5 they want me to fly to MADRID SPAIN by MARCH 28th 2019 to sign PAPERS to release, AND deposit MY 3 mill. Into MY bank, they want me to contact fatty GEORGE WILLIAMS AT EMAIL:attorney 65chamber@ or forfeit THE prize . Signed mrs. Lucia Alverez
Is this legit ?

just received my scam award for 4.5 million from Diamond Trust Security & Finance. Letter mailed from Lisbon with instructions how to claim award. All i had to do was call claim agent, Rev Dr. Alvaro Gonzalez to start processing my prize. What a joke!

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