A lotto malarkey

At the FTC, we’ve been warning people away from foreign lottery scams for years. So when one of our colleagues recently got an official-looking mailer from Canada, titled “RE: PRIZE WINNING NOTIFICATION,” we turned to our own advice to check it out.

Here’s what our advice says to watch out for, and what the letter actually said.

Watch out for:

“You just won a foreign lottery! The letter says so...”

The letter:

“We are pleased to inform you that you are one of the declared winners of the INTERNATIONAL SHOPPERS LOTTO POWERBALL…”

Watch out for:

“…a cashier’s check is included.”

The letter:

scam lottery check

Watch out for:

“All you have to do is deposit the check and wire money to pay for taxes and fees.”

The letter:

“Enclosed is a check for $3,875.00 US dollars which has been deducted from your winning. The sole purpose of this check is to enable you to pay the applicable Government Taxes on your winnings. The tax amount is $1,875.00 US DOLLARS… to be paid directly to the tax agent that is assigned to your file.”

“After the non-resident tax is paid, you will receive a certified check which will be the balance of your winning (US$121,125.00)…”

You’ve probably reached the same conclusion we did: the letter looks like the come-on to a rip-off. Our article on using money wiring services tells us what will happen next: “The check is no good. Although it looks like a legitimate cashier’s check, the bank eventually will determine that it is a fake. The lottery angle is a trick to get you to wire money to someone you don’t know. If you deposit the check and wire the money, the check will bounce — and you’ll be responsible for the money you sent.”

So if you get a letter like this one, keep your money in your account, and report it to the FTC.

Tagged with: foreign lottery, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Makes me pay closer attention to what really happening..

thanks a lot for this s,abjest it s veru enterting for show in the poeple how for protect for this

I have received an email like this before. Fortunately, the transfer of money in my country would not accept my money to deposit money transfers. they said that there was fraud. safe my money 1k plus. thanks for info

i been received a lot offer to me said that I am winning this amount and offered me this and that's until now I submit a lot pass 3-4 month I don't see anything what's offer to me I don't get nothing at all

Now what shall I do to be one of your winner, Mike I live in congo

ok i will do your advice correctly it is good advice to me beacuse many scammers are tested me by used different names and frauding system so that i am accepted this information.
thunks a lot

I understand. I will send a letter of this content directly to your office. Thanks for the warning.

Thank-You for helping us in keeping us safe.

What did you do about it ? Seriously, What did you do about it ?

Thank you--thank you

Dear Sir
I have been informed that
I was awarded the wife
Of Mary Janet
Worked at Self Employed (Business).
Approximately $ 200,000.00
But he needs is for $ 500.00.
But I cashless
Use Payoneer card
Using Payment Online
And it's not silent....If so, the case of inputs and wife.
Please store or shipped to inputs and wife.
Thank you very much for your kind assistance

Keep in mind that winners in legitimate contests don't have to pay to get their winnings. In fraudulent schemes, however, "winners" usually have to pay to enter a contest or collect their "prize." Also, beware if they ask you to wire money in order to get your “prize.” Read the article Using Money Transfer Services for more tips.

Need info upon my info if I did receive notice about a prize I was unaware of asap plz!!!!!!!!

The purpose of this blog is to warn people about foreign lottery scams. If you received a notification that you won a prize on a foreign lottery it's most likely a trick to get you to send money to a stranger.

thanks for this kind. regards

Great advise! I've been telling friends to be aware of these for years - and have prevented a couple of near disasters.

But I still get several of these types of letters every month!

They will never stop as long as ANYONE responds

Beware use tspb

I am interested in accessing where I can report scams similar to this notification. I get several by telephone. I usually hang up. But I prefer that they stop all together. Any info on this would greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.

You can file an online complaint with the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint. Hanging up on fraudulent telemarketing calls is the best thing to do. Watch this video and learn more.

Some years ago I had received such e-mails from African banks.The main thing was about relatives who died in catastrophes and huge some of money to which I connected.It may checked from date of Yahoo.

I received a EuroMillion Lottery recently informing me that My e-mail address won £650000.00 in what was described as Millionaire Raffle PTX 668934 with payable by a Mrs. Mary Hanks- foreign Service Manager based in Johannesburg - South Africa. Phone 2761 280 1015/ Fax 2786 402 7590. It is the request to provide personal details that Set alarm bells that this is a credible scam. The e-mail was signed on behalf of Euro-American- Asia- International Lottery by Mrs Dianne Thompson as Coordinator. I think this Lottery do not exist.

Just got one today from Ontario Ca., arrived in a Walmart marked envelope.Check drawn on Wells Fargo for $3920 to cover taxes,shipping, & handling fees. Alerted Wells Fargo locally, they confirmed it as bogus and will alert Wells internally. Sorry ( ha, ha ) to have to forego the $250,000 prize.

Are any banks capable of fully authenticating cashiers' checks on the spot?

I need help getting in contact about my money if I did get a prize its unclaimed family members might be using my identity need assistance A.S.A.P

The purpose of this blog is to warn people about foreign lottery scams. If you received a notification that you won a prize on a foreign lottery it's most likely a trick to get you to send money to a stranger. If you think you're a victim of identity theft, visit our webpage for information www.ftc.gov/idtheft

Is there a Federal Lottery Commission?

Is there such a entity as the Federal Lottery Commission

No, there isn't such an entity in the US federal government. If someone is telling you that there is, they are trying to scam you.

A man calling himself Antony Davis with the American Sweepstake Network call me to tell me I won $795,000.00.He said my money was tied up at the U.S. customs office and that I should call a gentleman named Louis Wright to have the winnings released.Between Mr. Antony Davis and Mr. Louis Wright and a women who said she was with Well Fargo shipping Co, and A women calling herself Celia Polk who said she was a bonded trustee, I was scam out of $7,273.00. Do not send these people any of your money!!!!!!!!!!!!!. After they get your money you will not be able to reach any of them by phone.Reverend B.

What about receiving money through inheritance , you become beneficiary , what steps can be taken to recognize the real thing

Donated funds from mr Mitchell - email. Me and said he and his wife donate 520,000.00 to me ) 10 -23-13 Ca shtml .

I wasn't asked to send anything immediately but after the funds were released, for attorney fees and a donation to charity. im unsure of the honesty behind it

i recently received an email titled repayment notice, they say i have won 810 000 Us dollars itz a promotion generated by the New Yok lottery on emails to encourage the use of microsoft, now wat they want is me to send my name, age, adress and the winning numbers plus batch number, how do i know if dis is real?

Received on 11/3/2014through the post a final prize notification from Berkshire Foundation LTD. located in England. Claim number, international contact # and instructions on how to submit within 3 weeks for payment for a certified check payout totaling $130,000.00US. Of course they requested confidentiality. Letter signed . These scammers are getting more and more professional every day.

I received a final prize notification from berkshire foundation LTD as well. i almost fell for it because it looked so real. however upon doing research i could find no information about this company at all. it says that they get names from sweepstakes and lottery databases. but i have never entered any sweepstakes or even bought a lottery ticket. so how did they get my name. upon further research the address on the letter has nothing to do with berkshire foundation. my lot number drew lucky numbers 7-13-24-35-42-49. how is this possible? the other thing i noticed is at the start of the letter it says dear sir/madam, i think if it was real then they would know if i was a sir or madam.

Since 2011 I have been receiving emails from Africa stating that I have won a lottery and 8 million U.S dollars are mine.A person from a bank wants all my banking information. Yea Right. He is still waiting. I will never give my information to strangers over the internet or phone. Also he wants a fee for processing. Nothing from me at all. Watch out for lottery scammers!!!

Ny state lottery is a scam I have proof and pics I'm going to the news with it

I received a letter in the mail saying I won $150,000 and they said I don't have to pay no money out of pocket they will take the taxes and fees out their self and send me the remainder by UPS(united postal service) I guess this isn't legit huh?

Let me know how it works out, I was sent the same letter apparently on September 11, 2015!!! Thanks!!!

i have lottery notification letter from belgium montana lottery company with much details that indicates as i am winner so what can i do? to get that fastly.

Please look at the blog post and look at the notification letter you got. Does the notification letter have messages that sound like a scam? Does the letter say "you won a foreign lottery," or "you have to deposit a check and wire money to pay the fees." Those messages are signs of a scam.

If a surprise letter says you won a prize, but you must send money first, it is probably a scam.

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