Foreign lottery scams have been circulating online and offline for years, and they are still going strong. There has been several variations but one such way is that you receive an e-mail stating that you have won a foreign lottery! But in order to claim your winnings you need to send in the “contest fee” in order for your winnings to be processed. The fee needs to be sent by Cashiers Check or wired to a “lottery representative.” Once they receive the fee, your winnings will be arriving. Of course, the winnings will never arrive, and you will be out the amount of the fees.
Another variation is that you will receive a check to cover the taxes and/or fees, as well as instructions on how to collect your prize. You receive an overnight package with a check that looks real. The “lottery” asks that you deposit the check and send them the amount of the fees in the form of a Cashiers Check or wired to a representative. In this case, the check you received is a forgery and will be returned, and you will be responsible for paying those funds back. And of course, you’ll never receive the lottery winnings!
In both of these cases – if you send them anything – you’ve been scammed! The lottery winnings will not arrive, and you will be out for the amount of the “contest fees” that you sent in or the amount of the check you deposited.
How can you be safe? If it seems to good to be true – it probably is! Don’t fall for the old lottery scam. It’s been around for years, and is still going! If you have any questions, or if you think you might have been scammed, contact First New York FCU. We’re here to help!