Internet scams and frauds are on the rise! The quantity of scam
emails with various fraud schemes any email account receives
today is simply overwhelming! There is this infamous Nigerian
419 scam, which is by far the most widely circulated one. I wrote
about it in one of our ezine articles not long ago. You can read
about it here! And there are many other scams like Lottery, Letter
of Credit, money transfer, black money conversion, real estate,
fraudulent order and the list goes on and on.
Looking at my daily doze of scam letters, looks like, the lottery
scam seams to be gaining popularity among the con artists. This
scam is similar to other forward fee schemes, where the goal of
the con artist is to persuade an unsuspected victim to send an
advance payment for some dubious offers that the swindlers never
plan to fulfill.
Email Lottery Scam
The subject of the emails from an unknown source to you will,
probably show, something similar to, "Congratulation! You have
own a lottery". With minor variations the text in most of these
letters is virtually identical.
The letter, usually, claims to be issued by a Lottery Company
based in some countries like The Netherlands, Switzerland, England,
Canada or the USA.
And then it says that you are one of many people randomly chosen
from all over the world to participate in a lottery of a very large
sum. You along with some others have won this lottery. You will
be asked to contact them immediately to claim your prize money.
Most certainly, the letter will also warn you to keep this as a
secret and will specify that the offer has a time limit.
If you contact them after receiving this letter; there are number
of variation how the thugs will try to swindle you. They are quite
imaginative and sometimes very innovative in their endeavors.
In general the idea is ? you have to pay a fee before the lottery
company can release the amount to you. The pretexts are, usually,
an investigation company has to make sure that you are the right
person who won the lottery, as a foreigner you have to pay a tax
before you can get your prize and there is a processing and
handling fee that has to be paid before hand, etc.
Don't think that these dubious offers are only sent by emails.
People received them by regular mails, by direct phone calls and
even by SMS.
Phone Call Lottery Scam
One fine morning you may receive a call from a person, claiming
to be a lawyer from a prestigious law farm, and will tell you
that you have won a foreign lottery; that a processing fee is
due before the prize money can be released to you. The seniors
are most likely to be the victims of these telemarketers. If you
are located in the USA, most likely, the person will introduce
himself as a Canadian lawyer and will inform you as if you have
won a Canadian Provincial Lottery.
Lottery Scam by SMS
You may even receive a SMS message advising that you have won
a foreign lottery. You will be instructed to log onto a website
and enter a login and password, which would be provided to you
in the message. The site will have the same look and feel of a
legitimate lottery site, but in fact, it is a copy site created
by the scammers. The URL address will have a very minor,
virtually, unnoticeable difference. Once you log in and see
for yourself that you have really own the lottery, you will
be asked to forward a gaming tax of US $100 to US $500 before
you claim your prize.
How to identify these scams and avoid being conned?
The number one motto that you should follow is ? if it is too
good to be true, then probably, it is indeed too good to be true!
There is no way you can win a lottery, in what you have never
The followings are the signs of probable scam offers, you will
be better off if you avoid them scrupulously:
Any offer, where you have to send cash upfront to redeem you
Any offer of a substantial percentage of a large sum of money
to be transferred into your account, in return for your
"discretion" or "confidentiality";
Requests for signed and stamped, blank letterhead or invoices,
or for bank account information;
Requests for payment in advance of transfer taxes or other fees;
Statements that your name was provided to the soliciting party
either by someone you do not know or by "a very reliable
Unsolicited calls asking if you would like to be in a "Lottery
Mail notifying you that you have already won a substantial sum
Nowshade Kabir is the founder, primary developer and present
CEO of Rusbiz.com ? a Global B2B Exchange with solutions to
create e-catalog, Web store, business process management and
other features to run a business online. You can read various
articles written by Nowshade Kabir at http://ezine.rusbiz.com.