April 9, 2013
Like other "too good to be true" scams, lottery scams offer the victim great wealth in exchange for paying taxes and other processing fees up-front. In lottery scams, scammers generally send an e-mail, fax, or letter to potential victims announcing that they have won a foreign lottery. The "winner" need only provide personal bank account information and pay a few fees up-front to collect his or her substantial winnings. Sadly, the “winner” never actually collects the winnings and instead loses all of the fees paid.
What to Watch Out For
How to Protect Yourself and Your Assets
Typical Lottery Scam
We receive frequent inquiries about the Spanish Lottery (sometimes referred to as "El Gordo"). Most inquiries result in complaints that purported Spanish lottery officials informed victims they have won a large cash prize. While the Spanish example is one of the most common versions, lottery scams can originate anywhere in the world.
How the Spanish Lottery Scam Works
There is a common pattern to Spanish lottery scams:
How the Real Spanish Lottery Works
Two of the most common legitimate Spanish lotteries are "El Gordo," one of the largest lottery drawings in the world, and "La Primitiva." These are lotteries, not sweepstakes, and are a part of Loterías y Apuestas del Estado, meaning that they are government-endorsed. The Spanish lottery does not tax any of its prizes.
While some lotteries are drawn weekly, "El Gordo" is only every year on 22 December. It does not go on sale until August of each year and is only sold in Spain. To enter and win "El Gordo," you must be a resident of Spain and purchase your ticket within the country. Keep in mind YOU CANNOT WIN IF YOU DID NOT BUY A TICKET! You must purchase your entry to the drawing in Spain to win. It is against U.S. federal law to play a foreign lottery through the mail or over the phone.
Example: Spanish Lottery Scam Solicitation
According to our discussion regading the retrevition of the fund, please endavour to demand of your bank to look into the transfer process to verify:
I will be glad to hear from you as soon as the investigation is made.
Thanks and remain bless