Police in Lansing, Illinois, report a lottery scam is seeing a resurgence in the area. Lansing Police say in the scam, a person is informed by letter saying they have won a lottery, oftentimes an international lottery, and that the company has been trying to contact the “winner”. Authorities say a check is usually included for a lesser amount, which according to the letter, can be used to cover the expenses incurred while obtaining the winnings. Once you call the contact person, they instruct you to cash the check and send a certain amount to them via Western Union, or another wire service, to cover their processing fees. Police say once the money is wired, it is nearly impossible to retrieve, if not impossible to determine who actually retrieved the wired funds, and no winnings are sent back and the check you cashed will come back as fraudulent.
Here are some tips to avoid becoming a victim to this or a similar scam:
- You cannot win a lottery you have not entered
- There is no such things as an "international lottery"
- There is no such things as an "email lottery"
- Legitimate lotteries do not make the winners cover any types of fees or expenses
- Lotteries do not contact the winners; the winner has to contact the lottery
- Never provide any personal or financial information to a company soliciting you, which you did not initially contact yourself.
- When in doubt, contact your local police before taking any action
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