There’s a saying that there are scammers because there are people willing to be scammed. Seriously, people, you can avoid getting scammed (along with other nasty things in life) if you just use your common sense. So a “key official” from a country that you couldn’t point in a map even if you try really hard contacted you and said that you won tens of million dollars? Here’s the catch – he’s asking you to wire thousands of dollars so he can “facilitate” the transfer of money to your account. How lucky are you?!
Of course, everyone who uses his common sense will know that it sounds too good to be true so it probably is too good to be true. If you still think that there’s no such thing as a lottery scam, check out these top 3 lottery scams in history.
NOTE: These figures are just the tip of the iceberg. Most victims don’t report these crimes because they’re embarrassed about it and rightfully so. According to the Federal Trade Commission, $63 million of losses were reported by victims who fell for these scams in the first six months of 2013 alone. However, the agency is estimating that the true amount is in billions.
Just to give you an idea on how under-reported these figures are, a study conducted by the Caribbean Policy and Research Institute showed that 90% of American victims stay silent about the fact that they were scammed.
Top 3 Lottery Scam Stories
While these stories and figures truly underwhelm as far as the true figures are concerned, these stories and figures should smack some common sense into you:
- Canadian Lottery Scam
This scam, just like most lottery scams, targeted the elderly. The poor elders, bless their hearts, weren’t exposed to the fact that the Internet is a playground of scammers. While most of them are still trying to figure out how email works, it provided scammers with a golden nugget of an opportunity.
The Canadian lottery scam is proof of this. This is considered as one of the most elaborate and one of the most successful scams of all time. It’s so successful that it has swindled American widows and retirees of around $5 billion. That can pay the debt of a lot of countries.
A guy using the name William Foley was arrested for this. He pleaded guilty to victimizing people in 24 states. Personally, he said that he swindled anywhere from $30 million to $50 million.
- The $100,000 Scam
Doris Galinas, an 84 year old widow who used to be a nurse, became $100,000 poorer after falling victim to a lottery scam. For a retired nurse, it seems that the promise of “Mega Millions” and two brand new cars was too tempting to pass up on. It was too tempting that the scammers didn’t have a hard time convincing her to refinance her home so she can pay for the “taxes” of her winnings.
The scam became so obvious that postal workers were warning her of the scam, but she didn’t listen. Of course, she said that she wasn’t being scammed. Postal clerks finally stepped in and notified postal inspectors who explained the scam to Galinas.
- Victoria Lottery Scam
A man from Victoria Australia received an email saying that he won $4.5 million in a lottery. Looks like greed got in the way as he decided to look beyond the fact that he didn’t enter the said lottery. You can just imagine him counting the cars that he’s going to buy with that money.
So what happened? The man sent $55,000 to cover for the “fees” needed to transfer the funds to him. The scammers name dropped the International Monetary Fund and said that they’re holding the money hostage and payment of a 3% fee is needed to “unlock” the money. Seriously, he couldn’t call the IMF to check?
He was also instructed not to tell anyone about his winnings. Well guess what? He didn’t, maybe because he wanted all the winnings to himself. If it’s any consolation to him, $3 million are stolen from Australians every year through this scam. But personally, I don’t see how comforting that can be.
These are different stories but they offer one lesson – use your common sense. There are basically two rules that you can live by so that you won’t fall victim to a lottery scam. First, you need to actually bet on the lottery for you to win it. Second, legitimate lotteries won’t ask for an advanced fee just so you can claim your earnings. Seriously, what’s the point of winning the lottery and being required to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars so you can get your winnings?
You can be like them or you can be informed of the scams happening in the lotto industry. If you don’t want to be a statistic, check LottoExposed.com first to be informed.