Scam Alert: 'Jackpot' will do a number on you

August 31, 2008 

THE SCAM: Foreign lotteries

HOW IT WORKS: Here are two variations on the classic foreign lottery scam. Residents report receiving letters that say they've won a foreign lottery, along with a realistic looking check. The letter states that the recipients have won thousands of dollars but that there are fees or taxes that must be paid before they can collect. In some variations, a phone number to call for instructions is included in the letter, although the basic idea is the same. Variations involve bogus lottery winnings from Britain, Canada and the Bahamas. Most lotteries in other countries are not open to U.S. residents.

WHAT'S AT STAKE: Your money, and your identity. Con artists typically are looking for bank account and credit card numbers as well as other personal financial information.

HOW TO BEAT IT: As a rule, foreign lotteries are bogus. Don't go for anything that requires you to pay upfront.

Modesto Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service