Foreign Lottery Scams Leave Victims All Dried Up

There is a new twist to an old scam that continues to lure people in. Con-artists have come up with one more way to deceive potential victims of foreign lottery scams.

Michael Larson, US Postal Inspector, speaking of a victim said, "He explained to me... I mean who doesn't dream of winning the lottery? He was contacted and told you have won the lottery and in order to collect that prize money you need to pay the taxes to get it out of the country and to the US."

The victim sent the money. In fact, he sent all of his retirement savings.

"He said the folks "I don't have any more money to win". Part of the catch, I'm going to help you out as long as you pay me back some of the money," said Larson.

And there is a new layer to the foreign lottery scheme.

"When he ran out of that money, the scammers started explaining to him, hey look we have sponsors here that can help you," Larson said.

Essentially, the conartists would tell other victims they too won the lottery and to send their fee money to the original victim.

Larson explained, "So, instead of sending money directly to Jamaica, they would send money to our victim."

The move helped the conartists perpetuate the scam.

"It's more legit because they aren't sending it to another country," said Larson

Postal inspectors warn all consumers to remember: "Foreign lotteries are illegal. You have to be on their soil to participate in their lottery."

No legitimate lottery will ever ask for money upfront and no legitimate lottery has fees or taxes that need to be paid upfront.

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