(Phoenix, Ariz.) Attorney General Terry Goddard is once again warning Arizonans about a Canadian/International Lottery scam following the report aired on CBS's 60 Minutes news program. This scam is usually managed from outside the United States. Consumers receive a letter, an email or telephone call informing them they have won a lottery. Consumers lose hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to this type of scam. In the most common scam, the caller claims to be a customs agent with customs or a lawyer in another country. The consumer is always told to keep the call secret to protect the winnings from the Internal Revenue Service.
Attached is an example of an email sent to a State employee "notifying" the consumer that he or she had won the Luckydays Lottery International. These communications are fraudulent! To win a legitimate lottery, a person must purchase a lottery ticket. No ticket, no winnings. The purpose of this scam is to obtain personal information like a bank account number so the perpetrators can clean out accounts.
The following are red flags to help residents identify this scam:
- If you did not buy a lottery ticket, you did not win the lottery!
- The caller wants you to wire money to another country or another state to cover administrative fees, taxes, or for any other reason.
- The caller offers a secret password to use when wiring money to ensure the safety of the transfer.
- The caller attempts to push or scare the consumer into sending money immediately or the prize will be lost.
- The caller offers to send someone to the house to pick up the money or offers to accompany the consumer to the bank to withdraw money.
- The caller asks for bank account information so the prize can be deposited directly into the consumer's account.
- The calls become more threatening or hostile if the consumer refuses to meet their demand for money.
The following are tips to protect consumers from becoming victims of this scam:
- Throw away "junk mail" and hang up on pushy callers.
- Never send money in response to a mail offer to "claim your prize."
- Never wire money in response to a call saying "you won a lottery."
- If the calls become threatening, hang up and call the local police.
- If you have already lost money, report it to the police. Once you have fallen victim to this scam, you are likely to be targeted for future scams.
Please contact the Attorney General's Office with questions or concerns about this scam, or visit the Web site at www.azag.gov.
This email was sent to a State employee on September 29, 2004 and forwarded to the Arizona Attorney General's Office:
LUCKYDAYS LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL.
DEAR SIR / MADAM
FROM: THE DESK OF THE PROMOTIONS MANAGER,
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS/PRIZE AWARD DEPARTMENT,
REF: LP/26510460037/02 BATCH: 24/00319/IPD.
(CONGRATULATION) "AWARD NOTIFICATION FINAL NOTICE."
We are pleased to inform you of the announcement, of winners of the LUCKYDAYS LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS held on 26 SEPTEMBER 2004. Your name/email address is attached to ticket number 004-05117963-198; with serial number 99375 drew the lucky numbers 31-33 -34-35-36-42, and consequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category. You have therefore been approved for the payment of EUR1,862,828.70 credited to file No: LP/26510460037/04. This is from total prize money of EUROS 80,400,000.00 shared among the international winners in all categories. All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn form 25,000 names from Australia, New Zealand, America, Europe, North America and Asia as part of International Promotions Program, which is conducted annually in conjunction with internet service providers (ISP).
Be informed that this lottery arrangement was between the lottery organizers (LUCKYDAYS LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL) and Internet Service Providers (ISP) the purpose of this, is to promote and encourage the use of internet in all countries.
CONGRATULATIONS!!! Your fund is now insured to your name. Due to the mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep this award strictly from public notice until your claim has been processed and your money remitted to your account. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming or unscrupulous acts by participants of this program. We hope with a part of your prize, you will participate in our end of year high stakes of Euros1.1 billion International Lottery. Note that agents has been appointed to make sure that all winners are paid, one of such agent are Venus Ventures International and your payment fails on their table, therefore to claim your winning sum you are advised to contact your claims Agent:
MR PETER MOORE:
VENUS VENTURES INTERNATONAL
For due processing and remittance of your prize money to your designated Bank account. Remember, all prize money must be claimed not later than 20th November 2004. After this date, all funds will be returned as unclaimed. NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote your reference and batch numbers in every one of your correspondences with your agent. Furthermore, should there be any change of your address, do inform your claims agent as soon as possible.
Congratulations again from all our staff and thank you for being part of our promotions program.
Dr.Wolfgang Jorge;THE PROMOTIONS MANAGER, Luckydays Lottery International
NOTE: ALL REPLY TO YOUR AGENT MR PETER MOORE