The classic lottery scam with some identity theft thrown in on the side to help trick you out of your money while damaging your credit
Lottery scams are hardly new and all of the elements of this version are tried and true scam artist methods designed to trick people out of their money. The latest incarnation of the lottery scam involves stealing the identity of a local business for the purpose of writing bad checks in the businesses name.
This means that this crime has potentially two victims: you and the business that had its identity stolen.
To make matters worse, you are going to look really, really bad when the check you tried to cash bounces and the scammers are long gone.
Here’s how this lottery scam works:
You will receive some authentic looking documents indicating that you’ve won $500,000 in the Australian lottery and enclosed will be a check for close to $5,000. There will be instructions on how to claim the prize and somewhere in the letter will be something about how you need to pay a fee which is what the check is for.
All you need to do is cash the check and send it in the form of a money order to their offices in Canada and await further intructions.
How the Lottery Scam Works
Sounds fine and dandy right? You’ve got a check to cover the fees right? What could go wrong? Unfortunately the check is written on the account of a local business that’s had it’s identity stolen and by the time you’ve deposited the check and sent the money order off the Canada the check will bounce and you will realize what’s happened.
Names of business and countries involved may change but the details of this scam are very old.
Lottery Scam Warning Signs
- Your first red flag was that you were told that you won a lottery you never entered.
- Your second red flag is that the lottery is in another country.
- Your red flag is that you’re asked to pay an advance fee to claim your prize.
Never Pay an Advance Fee
Paying a fee in advance to collect the prize the heart of all lottery scams and it’s the number one thing you need to be on guard against. Never send a money order or cash or a check to claim any prize. The only person that’s going to win money in this lottery is whoever you sent money to.