In this type of con, the scammer offers to sell the jackpot ticket for a few thousand dollars, or split the winnings after getting a “good faith” deposit from the victim, who will redeem the ticket. The winning ticket, as you may guess, is worthless.
Your defense: Remember what Mom said about talking to strangers.
The bottom line: Whenever you’re approached about winning a lottery—by letter, e-mail, telephone or in person—realize that the only jackpot is going to a crook—and it’s your money. “So don’t respond!” says Bresson. “Ignore any correspondence requesting personal information or offering a reward if you’ll click on a link or send a small check to get a bigger one.” Even providing your name and address can put you on a “sucker list” distributed to other scammers for other cons.
Learn more about bogus lotteries and other fake check scams at FakeChecks.org. res a complaint about an e-mail scam with the Internet Crime Complaint Center. If a suspicious lottery solicitation arrives by mail, report it to a U.S. postal inspector.
See Also: Microsoft, Yahoo Fight Lottery Scams
Sid Kirchheimer is the author of Scam-Proof Your Life (AARP Books/Sterling).