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Rounding up foreign lottery scammers

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In the past, we’ve told you about a group of Jamaican scammers who called people in the US with phony prize, sweepstakes and lottery offers. Just last week, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that eight Jamaicans were extradited to the US and now are in custody in North Dakota. These eight people were charged with using a lottery scam to trick at least 90 people out of more than $5.7 million dollars.

This case is part of a law enforcement operation that has taken years of work by the FBI’s Bismarck office, the US Postal Inspection Service, the US Attorney’s Office, DOJ, and the government of Jamaica – which arrested this group last year. Here at the FTC, we want to make sure you know how to spot these scams – and tell us when you spot them.

Why do foreign lottery scams work? Because these scammers play on our hopes for good fortune. After all, who doesn’t want to win the lottery? But, if you get a call or letter offering a chance to play – or saying you’ve already won a foreign lottery, know this:

  • Playing a foreign lottery is illegal. Both by phone and by mail.
  • Never pay for a prize. And never wire money (or give the numbers from a prepaid card or gift card) to anyone who asks you to. These are sure signs of lottery scams.
  • Buying even one foreign lottery ticket means your name gets added to lists that scammy telemarketers buy and sell to each other. You’ll get lots more calls and letters with scam offers.

If you get mail that looks like a foreign lottery, give it to your local postmaster. And remember: you can help the FTC fight these scammers by telling us when you spot a foreign lottery offer.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I was wondering if I can get into trouble for doing things like this: I keep getting calls a bout winning money; I know its a scam; so I will mess with them; like the 1 yesterday; I played along with them; but I kept coming up with reasons that I couldn't get to Walmart to send the money, and every thim they call I will ask stupid questions. I will lead them on for days letting them think they got me; "when I realy got them".after stringing them along for a few days I let them know that I know they are scammers; LOL when they know that they have just been played? its great. I have even had the Secret Shoppers Scam send me duplicate checks just to cost them money with out any return. they send them by Fed EX or UPS this cost them approx. $20 every time. I do make sure that the checks are fake and report them to the bank that there from. So Can I get into any trouble for doing this?

is the euromillion lottery a scam

Mom has been beng scammed by these Jamaican idiots, so far out of $40K. They have now passed her on to another set of people and she still believes she has won the 13M lotto. She's going to the bank and courthouse tomorrow thinking they are going to get her house out of foreclosure. We have tried!

Wow... I m a victim

Last year around Sept or Oct,I was called and told I had won a Roll Royce and $700,000 I think it was and the Rolls was coming by UPS wow.I need to send them $250.00 to get it here to Texas,it was coming across the causeway to Galveston,I told him I didn't have the money at the time,so he wanted to know if someone could give it to me.So I told him I will talk with my neighbor.He called me about 3 Saturday in a row.The last time he called,I told him I had the money and he said the car was coming and he was bring it on the UPS truck.I asked him about what time he would get here because I was going to called the newspaper and TV station so they could be here.Guess what? Still waiting for him to get here.Do not fall for these Scams and please don't send money. I don't care to much for the PCH.

in filing the lawsuit claim form do we include fees or not just wondering if anyone knows.

I have people calling me telling me I've won the mega millions and at 5.5 million but I have to send them a check for $200 for shipping and handing ain't that something
And they are Jamaica at least their accent is

I received a letter in hotmail from a lady who said she won a big lottery here in California. She even sent a link to show in Utube the winning of it. She wanted to send 20 people money to send out to charities. It was around 800 and something thousand. She was not in this country at the time. She said a bank would be set up in that country then transferred to my account. I felt suspicious then. I deleted the letters but kept the original one in my archive.

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