International Lottery Winnings Program Scams - Internet Email,
Telephone and Mail Fraud Sweepstake Lotto Ticket Sales Scam
Tired of not winning the government sponsored lotteries after
years of playing, you are pleased to receive the following mailer.
"Congratulations! You may receive
a certified check for up to $400,000 U.S. CASH!"
"One Lump Sum! Tax free! Your odds to WIN are 1-6."
"Hundreds of people win every week
using our secret system!"
"You can win as much as you want!"
After receiving this card you call the number provided and listen
to someone enthusiastically promote the benefits of purchasing
a "membership" in a lottery "pool".
"These group purchases let you share in a series of
ticket packages consisting of high-stakes foreign lotteries
from Canada and as far away as Spain, Germany and Australia."
The memberships range in price from $29 to thousands of dollars,
depending upon how many individual and group plays are purchased,
as well as upon how many weeks worth of tickets you purchase.
During the phone call they convince you to buy a membership by
saying that you have been "specially selected" as one
of a small group to play for a large prize pool; that your odds
of winning a large prize are "from very good to practically
guaranteed" and that your chances of winning are "definitely
enhanced" by purchasing through them.
They say that purchasing their services is a "once in a lifetime
chance" to win large sums of money because "this is not
a losing chance," and that they employ "experts who are
able to choose the highest frequency numbers using scientific methods."
They say that they are legally registered by the various foreign
governments to sell the lottery tickets, that they are the sole
agent for the lotteries in Australia and for the Northwest German
State Lottery (which features a four-color invitation brochure)
and that they limit the number of lottery tickets that are sold
to help your odds of winning.
One brochure gives you the option of buying a "full ticket" for
$766.90 or a "half ticket" for $391.90. After paying,
you receive a "confirmation package" containing a listing
of the numbers on your tickets and a letter informing you:
"You may WIN and receive a certified
check for up to $10,000,000 U.S. CASH!
Lump Sum! Tax free! Your odds of winning are only 1-6!
is FANTASTIC! GREAT! THE BEST!"
The confirmation package contains a "Customer Service" 800
number so you can contact them with questions about credit card
billing. It also contains a credit card "authorization" slip
for you to sign and return, even though they have already charged
your credit card for the purchase.
This authorization will be used to persuade dissatisfied consumers
not to seek a charge-back from their credit card company.
Contrary to their assertions and fanciful names like Big Win International,
Marathon Award Centre or Sunshine Fortuity, the odds of winning
anything in these foreign lotteries are non-existent. They do not
have special systems which enhance your odds of winning; you have
not been specially selected as one of a small group to play for
a large prize; and it is illegal for them to sell foreign lottery
tickets to you and for you to purchase foreign lottery tickets
They fail to disclose that only a small portion of the money you
pay to them is used for the actual purchase of tickets. In fact,
investigations show that less than 7% of the money you pay goes
to the purchase of tickets. After paying about $1 per ticket,
they charge as much as $100 per ticket or share in a ticket. Any
lottery tickets they do purchase are not sent to you but are kept,
along with the proceeds of any winning tickets, by the organizers.
On occasion they indicate that you have won a major cash prize
but that to secure the release of the prize, you are required to
pay an up-front fee to the company. No prize has been awarded
and you become another victim of just one variation of an advance
Just two such telemarketers have agreed to pay $900,000 for using
illegal and deceptive practices when selling these foreign lottery
tickets. Over $438,000 in restitution will be distributed to 2,700
consumers who were solicited to buy individual tickets or group
shares in the Australian or Spanish lotteries.
People, many of whom are elderly, pay hundreds or even thousands
of dollars, sometimes borrowing money or otherwise straining their
finances, in the expectation of winning. One 83 year old,
Houston, Texas woman bought more than $35,000 in lottery tickets
in just a few months after being repeatedly called and harassed
by the telemarketers.
Federal law enforcement authorities are intercepting and destroying
millions of foreign lottery mailings which are delivered by the
truckload into the U.S. Consumers, lured by prospects of
instant wealth, are responding to the solicitations that do get
through, to the tune of at least $120 million a year, according
to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Many of the packages sold are charged to a VISA, M/C or American
Express. As they can not get a valid merchant account, through
which they can process these credit card transactions, they pay
other companies to launder their credit card sales drafts for a
15-20% fee in a process called "factoring".
This use of other businesses' merchant accounts to process their
credit card transactions is not authorized by the credit card companies.
Woofter Investment Corp, a Las Vegas firm run by Patsy M. Barbour,
also known as Patsy Barbour-Woofter, that processed credit card
sales drafts for over fifty Canadian foreign lottery telemarketers
has agreed to pay $1,000,000 in redress.
How Can You Live On That?
"Transworld Lottery Commission", the "World Currency
Transfer Reserve", the "International Lottery Commission",
the "Subscription Processing Department" and "El
Gordo - The Fat One" are the multiple names of one organization
which promises that you will be eligible for chances to win your
share of from $45 million to more than $1.2 Billion in prizes.
You are instructed to include from $9.95 to $160, depending on
which package you choose, when you return your claim form.
The offer claims that payouts to players are "100% confidential
and will be paid directly to you in U.S. dollars, with no taxes
More examples at Lottery Scam, Lotto International, Lottery Scams, Nigerian Lottery Scams, Jamaican Lottery Scam, Latin Lotto, Fake Lottery Tickets.
Everyone's a Winner!
I stumbled across your website while researching a letter I received
from the "El Gordo Sweepstake Lottery Company S.A".
I was looking through the letters and the one from Ruth Krammer
stood out! Her letter was identical to mine right down to the ticket
and serial numbers!
Thanks for letting me know this letter is a fraud!
Denise Cork 29 Sep 2001
The 'Winning Numbers Service' Scam
Lottery scammers are always trying to develop new lists of potential
victims. One method used is to send out a mailing, or place ads,
which invite lottery players to subscribe to a service that has
an amazing record of picking winning numbers.
They will claim that they have a computer with artificial intelligence
or that they have a renowned mathematician on staff. They typically
charge a nominal fee of $20 to $30 for their service. In most cases,
the numbers sent to you are merely randomly selected numbers or
pre-printed forms containing identical numbers.
By subscribing to their service, they know that you are interested
in playing the lotteries so your name will be placed on their lead
lists for other scams and/or sold to other scammers and list brokers.
Trouble in Paradise
The so-called "New Jackpot Mondial Monaco" lottery became
available recently and has since become increasingly popular with
families, both in the main island of Tahiti as well as in French
Polynesia's outer islands.
But all of them have lost one thousand US dollars each, which
is the required sum in order to qualify for a win of $150,000 US
dollars "to be won within 90 days".
The game was advertised by way of mailed leaflets which stated "It's
very simple. This system relies on arithmetic and logic, it leads
all participants to big gains. But beware! Please only send
US dollars, we cannot accept any other form of payment".
and Sweepstakes Victim
From Jess H. 9 Aug 2000
I am in a real quandary here. An elderly man who has been
like a father to me is getting BILKED, and I MEAN BILKED BAD! He
is completely hooked on this whole telemarketer/sweepstakes thing
and the whole family is at a loss for what to do.
We have tried talking to him and he will not listen, he thinks
we are the ones who are crazy! He was forced into retirement
2 years ago, primarily because as a real estate agent, no one was
requesting his services. This has become his new line of
work it seems. He is consumed by it.
He is away for a few days so my mother took myself and my wife
to his house to show us the current state of affairs. He
has boxes of replies paper-clipped to envelopes waiting to be sent
out. His check registers are full of entries for $12.99 here,
$18.99 there, $24.99 and so on, going back two years.
He has sent EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS to the CANADIAN LOTTERY!?!?!?!?
What do we do. He is 85 years old and has precious little
left. He recently took out a second mortgage for $150,000 to pay
off past credit card debt and bills that have been piling up. We contacted
the Elderly Protection Agency and they actually went to his house
and interviewed him. They said that since he was "sane" there
was nothing that they could do. There will be nothing left
Les, I'm an attorney and willing to take whatever action is required
to protect this man from himself. In addition, I am a recovering
alcoholic with eleven years sober and I know that one addict talking
to another helps when precious little else can. Are there
others out there who have been through this that could talk to
this man? Are there any support groups.
I am willing to go anywhere and talk to anyone. And Les, THANK
YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, for your website. When I returned
home tonight I didn't know what to do. Your site was like
finding an Oasis. I can't thank you enough for your work.
I live in California in Redwood City and Ted is in Foster City,
CA. Any leads or light you can shed would be greatly appreciated. I
thank you in advance for your time and consideration.
Sincerely Jess L.
I am as horrified in hearing your story as I was when I researched
the material for the site. The sheer volume of victims is as mind-boggling
as their losses. What is worse is the inability of the victims
to grasp the fact that they are victims, so adept are the operators
of these scams.
As for help, I am afraid it is sadly lacking in our society though
you may find help from Phonebusters here in Canada, who take calls
from victims and filter back the info to authorities here and the
U.S where the sentencing is much higher.
The FTC have a complaint form as does the National Consumers League
so try www.ftc.gov www.fraud.org and search my site for Phonebusters
and also review the section on victim assistance for further ideas
and contacts. The Attorney General for your state often has a task
force dealing with this issue as well. Beyond that you might print
out the section that deals with his scam and let him read it.
I sincerely hope he gets the help he needs before it is too late.
Would you mind if I paraphrased your plea onto my message board
section leaving out your personal details ) so that if there is
another viewer who can help, you might receive it that way.
Just be careful you don't fall for a recovery scam operation down
the road. For now good luck and keep in touch. Les
Please feel free to post my plea on your board and THANK YOU SO
MUCH FOR YOUR WORK!
German Lottery Agent Scam
Have you heard of the North West German State Lottery?
Do they seem real? I found two of their sites, but one at www.millionwinnings.de/
has been taken down. The other is written solely in German but
translated at: www.nkl-lotterie.de/
My 91 year old grandfather has sent one, G. Stepulack, $1600 Canadian
dollars over a period of six months to participate in a daily lottery.
I didn't become aware of this until he asked me to make sure he
had sent enough money to be in the "big" draw that was
coming up and he didn't want to be left out. I started to
wonder who, exactly, had received this money, and have been researching
this company ever since.
It seems the USPS has known about this man since 1995 and although
nothing much has been printed about him they apparently have a
notice saying mail directed to this individual in Germany is not
to be sent.
P.O. Box 2363,
32013 Herford, Germany.
also G. Stepulack OHG
Liebigstrasse 3 ( BigLieStreet? )
32052 Herford, Germany
The L.A. seems to stand for Lottery Agent! The police here say
he is actually a legitimate seller of the state sponsored NKL Lotterie
Einnehmer lottery tickets there, although it is illegal to sell
or buy them in Canada or the U.S.
How did I deal with my grandfather? He was irate that I dared
question this person. So, I sat down and told him that I totally
supported his playing lotteries (I lied), and that I wanted him
to continue...all I wanted to do was look at the material, note
a couple of things to make some enquiries, but that it was really
nothing as I was sure he was right.
I would look into being sure he was to be the next millionaire
and that I likely totally wrong about my instincts. When he knew
that I was on his side and wasn't going to stop him, he let me
If you have senior who is being bilked, agree with them. They
feel badly enough having lost the money without someone questioning
their judgment as well. Take down necessary info: any personal
names, phone numbers, addresses, name of lottery or scam, to whom
the cheque should be made to, etc., then check them out through
If you find that it is a scam, then please help others by reporting
the activity everywhere (the newspaper, the BBB, the RCMP or equivalent,
the postal service, and internet sites such as this one).
Hopefully we can help others avoid this type of financial loss,
emotional trauma and embarrassment.
Thanks for a great site,
Joanna Stephenson 01/23/02
Not A Good Gamble
On November 13, 2000, a criminal complaint was filed in the Central
District of California against Timothy Ryan Babuin,
with respect to his role in a Vancouver telemarketing company, NAGG
Holdings which allegedly sold bogus lottery tickets and
bogus savings bonds to U.S. and Canadian victims.
Babuin was arrested in Canada, and an extradition request has
been filed with Canadian authorities.
Worth The Drive
On May 22, 2000, two Montreal telemarketers, George R.
Gilham and Lisa A. Pomerantz were sentenced
in the Central District of California to 30 months and 27 months
imprisonment, respectively after pleading guilty.
They had been arrested in Los Angeles on November 17, 1999, after
attempting to pick up $140,000 in cash from an elderly victim in
return for a counterfeit $5.5 million check, purportedly for "lottery
They reportedly drove all the way from Montreal to Los Angeles
for the transaction.
Warnings Don't Seem To Work
On February 7, 2000, a criminal complaint was issued in the Central
District of California, charging Michael Ghirra,
of Vancouver, B.C., with wire fraud and mailing lottery communications.
As the owner and operator of WIN USA (aka International
Registration Australian Lottery (IRAL), International Canadian
Lottery System, and Ipex Services Ltd.)
from approximately April 1997 through November 1998, he reportedly
obtained approximately $5 million from his lottery operations
over this short period of time.
Ghirra had previously been a defendant in a civil action filed
by the FTC on November 7, 1998 concerning his activities with WIN
USA and IRAL. That civil action resulted in the granting
of the FTC’s motion for summary judgment on April 13, 2000.
01/02 - The Toronto Strategic Partnership charged
one man with fraud over $5000 and continue to investigate a fraudulent
lottery scammer who targeted American citizens.
It is alleged that between November 2001 and January 2002, Sean
Patrick O'Keefe, 34, was involved in a lottery scam
whereby victims in his native United States were contacted and
advised that they were winners of a two million dollar lottery.
His company, Portico Communications, advised victims to send money
for customs fees and taxes via Western Union to a financial institution
in the United States. The money was then rerouted to a Toronto
branch where he collected the funds.
During this brief time period at least four American senior citizens
ranging in age from 71 years to 80 years of age sent in $207,500
11/01 - The Toronto Strategic Partnership charged
one man with fraud over $5000 and continues to investigate a fraudulent
lottery targeting American senior citizens which may have brought
in over $200,000.
It is alleged that between September 2001 and November 5, 2001 Ronald
Joseph Frenette, 57, contacted senior citizens in the
U.S., informing them that they were winners of a Canadian lottery.
In order to have their fictitious winnings forwarded to them
they were required to send various dollar amounts to cover the
tax and administration costs. During this time period the
suspect received 25 wire transfers in amounts ranging from $465
- $2000 totaling $27,857.00 USD.
Swept Off Her Feet
10/03 CONYERS —Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office reports
show that an elderly woman was recently notified that she had won
$150,000 from the Motor Vehicle Association Sweepstakes in
The man who phoned her with the “good news”identified
himself as an employee with the Federal Consumer Protection
Agency and went on to tell the woman she “would
have to pay $750 to a Lloyd’s of London representative in
order to cover taxes associated with the prize, as it was actually
being funded by a Canadian lottery.”
The woman was instructed to send the money via Western Union to
a specific subject via a specific routing number.
The money was sent and picked up by an individual in Costa Rica. The
following day, when the woman was again contacted and asked to
send an additional $3,000 for taxes, she contacted RCSO and the
incident was ultimately referred to state and federal agencies
for further investigation.
Lottery Calls From Con-ada
I live in the UK and last night received a very strange phone
call from a man with an African sounding accent, calling himself
He claimed to be calling from Canada and stated that I had won
the Canadian Lottery. When I told him I did not play it he
said "That's strange, your number was on a winners list in
the last two weeks." He then gave me my full name and
address details correctly. However, I said I was in the middle
of cooking a meal and he promised to call back in 20 minutes though
he never did.
How would I find out if what he said was true and how would he
have got all my address details? I checked later with phone
company to get a call-back number, which they could not give but
confirmed that it was an international call, therefore did not
register on the 1471 service we have here.
Name withheld 02/13/02
11/01 - International criminals are scamming
pensioners with a fake Canadian lottery scheme, asking victims
to send a fee of the equivalent of $2,335 CAD to collect winnings
that don't exist, according to Britain's National Criminal Intelligence
Canadian fraudsters telephone British residents telling them they
have been entered into the Canadian National Lottery for free. A
few weeks later they call back to tell the person they have won
a huge prize, but then demand several thousand pounds to pay for
the tax on the winnings.
Or victims simply receive a telephone call saying they have won
a substantial amount of money in Canada, but are told they need
to send an "administrative fee" to release their winnings.
No such lottery by that name exists.
Complaints can be directed to the European Enforcement team at
Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London, EC4Y 8JX or e-mail
See the section on Lead Generation and Advance
I am very glad I found your site. My fiancé and
I became victims of the Canadian Lottery Scam by sending
in over $1000 in hopes of a winning that was never to be.
How silly we were to fall for this type of scam, but we did,
and now we are just sick. Is there a chance we could get
our money back or did we just learn an expensive lesson?
01/02 - A Texas senior received a letter in the
mail from the "Canadian National Lotteries ( TransNational
Trade Consortium)" notifying her that she was one of the winners
in a lottery pool. She was then contacted by phone by a person
who instructed her to wire $1,800.00 to a person in Quebec, Canada. see
also Advance Fee Sweeps.
Selling dreams... at a 300% markup By
Robert Cribb Staff reporter
to this excellent report.
VANCOUVER - Just above a plumbing supply store, on the second
floor of a nondescript gray building in industrial Vancouver, a
receptionist buzzes visitors into the offices of C-W Agencies.
Inside, bland concrete transforms into stylish glass walls and
plush seating. A sprawling array of more than 100 desks is filled
with people tapping on computer keyboards or working the phones
beneath a series of large clocks indicating the time in places
like Amsterdam, Hong Kong, London and Auckland, New Zealand.
It bears little resemblance to Toronto's "boiler room" telemarketing
operations, where slick-sounding sales staff pitch misleading credit
card offers to Americans - usually targeting the poor and elderly.
Their offices are generally dingy, with perhaps 20 desks and a
bank of phones. Sales staff have no computers, just a "sucker
list" of vulnerable marks and a script they read into the
phone and embellish with lies.
Most telemarketing firms in Canada are strictly law-abiding and
deliver a variety of legitimate goods and services. Some commit
outright telephone fraud. Others, such as Vancouver's C-W Agencies,
stand in a gray zone of legality.
A giant banner stretches across one side of the bustling Vancouver
room, declaring: "Congratulations. We Did It. We Beat Last
Spanning the other side of the room, another banner reads: "Goal
for 2002 ... We Can Do It ... $75,000,000."
They "do it" by selling lottery tickets to customers
around the world. They move Canadian Lotto 6/49, Canada's Super
7, Instant Million, and Mega Millions, along with French, Spanish,
German, British and Australian lottery tickets. It's a large, sophisticated
- and highly controversial - business.
The firm claims 700 employees and two international subsidiaries.
Randall Thiemer, president and CEO of C-W Agencies, says his
company's annual gross income is close to $100 million.
"We're by far the biggest (lottery ticket reseller) in the
world," he beams.
B.C. consumer protection legislation, proclaimed in August, makes
it illegal to resell lottery tickets without authorization or special
licensing. And no individuals or companies have been licensed as
yet, authorities say.
C-W's Thiemer insists that while he has not been licensed to
resell lottery tickets under the new legislation, he has been assured
by authorities that he will receive one as soon as they start being
"We've been working very closely with the government and
our understanding is that we'll be given every opportunity to be
licensed. We've got advocates in the legislature. We've been negotiating
and that's what we're working toward."
In the meantime, any company reselling lottery tickets in B.C.
is doing so illegally, says Derek Sturko, of B.C.'s Gaming Policy
and Enforcement Branch, authors of the legislation.
Thiemer says he'll simply move his operation to Europe if he
doesn't get the B.C. license.
"Either way, nothing's going to change."
Lotteries are covered by gambling laws to protect consumers from
exploitation. Reselling foreign lottery tickets is illegal in Canada
and the United States because licensing bodies would no longer
be able to guarantee that protection.
C-W Agencies ran afoul of U.S. law four years ago. The firm pleaded
guilty to criminal charges, was fined $500,000 (US), and was ordered
to "cease all marketing of lottery products to United States
A bubbly 20-something female recruiter for the firm greets a
job seeker with an impressive patter about money-making prospects.
"If you're motivated by money and know how to sell, this
is the place to be," she tells a reporter posing as a potential
employee. "It's an incredibly lucrative business. We're selling
people dreams, and the idea of making money overnight."
Authorities say that cash is generated by charging foreign consumers
a lot more than the actual cost of lottery tickets. For example,
according to the company Web site, C-W Agencies sells 10 Canadian
6/49 tickets for $30 (US), about $48 Canadian.
The cost of those tickets, at a lottery booth, is $1 a piece,
for a total of $10 (Can.).
"They're obviously charging significantly more than the
tickets are worth - a 300 per cent mark-up," says Jim Cronin,
a spokesperson with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
C-W's Theimer says his prices are consistent with the rest of
the lottery resale industry and are based on markups required to
turn a profit.
"We're not making a lot of money doing this."
A common lottery scam on the west coast involves staff in telemarketing
boiler rooms calling Americans and Europeans and telling them they've
already won a Canadian lottery prize. C-W Agencies does not do
this, but other Vancouver telemarketers are involved in such fraud.
They tell people they've won a huge prize and need only to pay
taxes and an administration fee, usually between $5,000 and $50,000,
Robert Cribb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Trade Commission v. Nanda Kumar Duraisami
The Federal Trade Commission filed suit in U.S. District Court to shut
down the operation of a cross-border con artist who targeted elderly
U.S. citizens in a bogus foreign lottery scheme. The complaint seeks
a permanent ban on the operator's deceptive and illegal practices and
redress for consumers.
Pair charged with telemarketing fraud for alleged sweepstakes
Nov 26, 2003
(Providence-AP) -- Two women are charged with cheating elderly
victims out of thousands of dollars by charging fees for them to
collect fake sweepstakes prizes.
The U-S Attorney's office says 38-year-old Marilyn Cruz, of Providence,
and 24-year-old Shanta Garner, of Florida, called senior citizens
around the country, telling them they'd won prizes of up to 19
They allegedly told the victims they must wire money to cover
fees and taxes in order to claim the prizes.
Prosecutors say they convinced at least 26 people to send a total
of more than 400,000 dollars. One victim sent about 56,000 dollars
in multiple installments and another, almost 85,000 dollars.
Cruz appeared in federal court in Providence Monday and is being
held pending resolution of a detention hearing. Garner is set to
appear before a Florida court.
Bogus Canadian Lottery Letter
BRUNSWICK, Ga. - 10/26/04 - According to investigators with the
Brunswick Police Department, a scam targeting elderly residents
starts in the form of a letter from a group calling itself the
National Verification Office of American Benefits. The letter touts
an international lottery with a $100,000 grand prize, as well as
a fake $2,900 check.
Before the check can be cashed, a call must be made to a Canadian
number and you must provide personal information, including bank
account numbers. According to police, the group then uses the information
to order checks and get credit cards.
Con artists scam woman in 80s
By Eunice Kim / Staff Writer 02/19/04
Scammers who target seniors through phony prize-offering mailings
have taken an elderly West Roxbury woman for more than $50,000,
The scam artists from Vancouver, British Columbia, conned the
woman, who is in her 80s and lives alone, through a mass mailing
that promised, "A share of cash and property totaling $458,260."
The fake document read in bold print "This certification
document is urgent" and instructed the woman to immediately
mail back a $26 documentation fee.
"They're sending out lines," said District 5 Police
Capt. Timothy Murray.
Once a person pays the $26, the scammers "hook" you,
said Detective Dan Hennessey, who is investigating the case. They
begin calling and asking you to send thousands in checks for other
fake fees, such as Canadian taxes, Hennessey said.
The West Roxbury woman, whose name police would not release, paid
the initial $26 and then sent cashier's checks through FleetBank
at 1857 Centre St., West Roxbury, for $6,000, $6,950 and $9,420
to Century Star Service, a made-up entity.
The victim's bank account at The Cooperative Bank in West Roxbury
was also cleaned out of at least $20,000.
Fleet initially contacted police about the unusually large withdrawals
by the elderly woman.
Police had set up a partnership with Parkway banks in 2001 to
protect elderly from scams. Fleet was able to stop payment of the
$9,420 cashier's check the woman wrote last.
Hennessey interviewed the victim at her home, where she had more
than 300 pieces of mail. Scammers called three times while Hennessey
A distant relative of the woman assumed power of attorney and
took over her accounts.
Elderly Victim of Canadian Lottery Scam
TAUNTON, MA 03/04 —An 81-year-old man was conned
out of several thousand dollars by a "Canadian Lottery" scam,
Police credited an alert assistant manager at Shaw's Supermarket with
discovering the scam.
The manager became suspicious when the elderly man came to the
store and asked to send $1,000 by Western Union to Canada.
The assistant manager inquired about the transaction and told
the elderly man he was the victim of a scam.
The victim told Smith he was contacted by phone and advised he
had won the "Canadian Lottery."
However, the man was also told he was required to send a large
amount of money to cover expenses.
The victim sent the money and was contacted again the next day
and informed he needed to send an additional $1,000, which would
allow the caller to travel to T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, R.I.,
the following day to hand-deliver the winnings.
The victim then went to Shaw's to send the additional money, but
the assistant manager intervened.
Smith said the same assistant manager alerted Taunton police in
2002 of an identical scam.
U.S. hires Ruby to reclaim money from lottery
04/10/04 - Hotshot Toronto criminal lawyer Clayton Ruby has been
hired by the United States government to try to recover $100,000
in fines paid by two men convicted for their role in a lottery
scam that targeted Americans.
Thousands of U.S. residents whose names appeared on "sucker
lists" paid inflated amounts -- an average of $29.95 to $759.50
-- for Lotto 649 tickets in a telemarketing swindle between 1994
Two Toronto men last year pleaded guilty last year to two counts
each of selling shares of lottery tickets and one count each of
printing gaming information. The prosecution estimated that they
swindled their victims of more than $19.7-million (U.S.).
But no one knows what happened to the millions the two grossed
before December 1998, when their boiler-room telemarketing operation
was shut down.
Mr. Ruby's services were enlisted, he said, because "the
U.S. government is very concerned about the treatment of its victims."
Mr. Ruby said that the $100,000 in fines paid by the defendants
-- now in the Ontario government's coffers -- is likely all that
the victims will see of their lost money. Ernest Levy and
Alan Silverstein, both in their 60s, were fined $50,000 each and
told to pay up or face 90 days in jail.
But they were not ordered to make repayment.
At a recent hearing in the Ontario Superior Court, Mr. Ruby urged
a judge to set aside the sentence and direct the trial judge to
resentence the men and impose a restitution order of $50,000 each.
Thus the money would go to the victims. The appeal judge reserved
Recovery of the missing millions has been hampered by jurisdictional
and cross-border issues.
The U.S. government, once it discovered the scam, moved quickly
to freeze the two men's assets in the U.S. and to take legal action
In August, 2000, a U.S. district judge in Illinois ordered the
men to repay the more than $19-million.
The U.S. also commenced civil action in Canada in December, 1998.
That lawsuit has not been settled, but in June, 2002, an Ontario
judge ordered that the U.S. judgment be enforced in Canada.
The men appealed but were unsuccessful.
When he sentenced the men, Judge Paul Bentley of Ontario Court
rejected a plea by Toronto civil litigation lawyer Malcolm Ruby
(no relation), acting on behalf of the U.S. government to impose
a restitution order.
Judge Bentley said the restitution order of the judge in the civil
case should not affect the outcome of a criminal matter.
Moreover, the Crown prosecutors did not ask for a repayment order,
telling the judge that the victims were protected because several
hundred thousand dollars had been recovered from the two men in
The prosecution was given wrong information, Mr. Ruby told the
court. Less than $3,000 has been recovered from the two men's assets
in the U.S.
Mr. Levy and Mr. Silverstein bought legitimate Lotto 649 tickets
and sold them to Americans phoned by about 200 telemarketers, mostly
immigrants from Sri Lanka.
For minimum wage, the telemarketers were taught to use high-pressure
tactics and misleading information to sell the tickets.
The victims were told they could buy their own personal ticket
or purchase a group package, with winnings shared by all members.
No mention was made of the fact that a group usually consisted
of 200 to 300 people.
Complaints started flowing in when the promised large winnings
did not materialize.
By GAY ABBATE - COURTS REPORTER - Globe and Mail
Elderly Woman Conned Through Phony Canadian
By STEVE LIEBERMAN - THE JOURNAL NEWS
01/05 - A 71-year-old Clarkstown woman was cheated out of $25,000 through
a phony telephone lottery scam, Clarkstown police said yesterday.
A caller told the woman in early November that she had won the $300,000
Canadian lottery and could collect the money after paying taxes, police
The woman sent $1,500 to a Chicago address through Western Union. The
scammers made follow-up calls and she made 19 payments to various people
over the next two months, bringing the total to $25,000, police said.
"Once they hooked her," Detective Sgt. James Doyle said, "they started bleeding
her dry for more money."
Doyle said the "Canadian Lottery Scam" targeted mostly older women and
that 1.8 million people nationwide had been victimized last year by similar
"There is no such thing as a free lunch," he said.
Doyle said he had spoken with the FBI in hopes that the federal agency
could provide the woman with some help. The telephone call came from
a 877 number, he said, and was routed through different phone lines and
telephone companies so it could not be traced.
"I don't know where the call originated from," Doyle said. "I don't even know
how they pick their victims. They could make 50 blind phone calls and get nowhere
and the 51st person agrees."
Doyle pointed out that it was illegal to play a foreign lottery by mail
In addition, he said, buying one ticket could get a person added to an
international list that scammers use to search for potential victims.
Canadian Lottery scam claims elderly woman's
By Edward J. Sisson - Lebanon Daily Record
03/05 - A Canadian Lottery scam, first reported in the United States
several years ago, apparently has resurfaced and cost an elderly Lebanon
woman nearly $50,000 of her life savings, according to Lebanon police
Detective Lori Adams, who has been investigating the matter.
Adams said Monday afternoon that she has been working on the case since
it surfaced in February, when she was made aware that the woman had been
taking out money orders at several locations for various amounts of money
and sending them to Canada.
She said it appears that senior citizens are the targets of these fraudulent
"The victim was contacted by phone by someone who identified themselves as being
with U.S. Customs and told her she had won the Canadian Lottery and in order
to receive the winnings she had to forward certain amounts of money to pay for
fees, taxes, that type of thing, to get the money sent to her, with the promise
she would be reimbursed the amount she was out," Adams said.
"Her story was, they continued to require fees while still guaranteeing her that
the money would be forthcoming that day or be delivered a certain day," Adams
said. "That day came -- no money. They would call her again and apologize saying
there was some sort of error and that more forms needed to be filled out and
this would require her to send more money."
Adams said the caller had convinced the woman of his sincerity to the
point that she continued to send money, believing she would eventually
receive the lottery winnings he promised and also be reimbursed the cash
she had already spent.
Adams received information Friday from a local man that he, too, had
received a phone call claiming he had won the Canadian Lottery.
"The main thing is that (the callers) are identifying themselves as either with
U.S. Customs, the IRS, any federal agency to get the victims to believe they
are legitimate," Adams said.
Adams added that, in some cases, the caller will give phony reasons for
the victims to not notify their local law enforcement officials or the
individuals' banks, or to make their winnings known publicly, claiming
that this could cost them their lottery winnings due to a Canadian legal
Also Friday, a local woman came to the police department with a mailing
she had received from an address in Ottawa, Ontario, claiming she was
one of a dozen winners of the Canadian Lottery.
Enclosed was a money order for more than $4,500 that she learned was
bogus when she took it to her local bank for verification.
The woman had been instructed in the mailing to call an account manager
to receive more information on her winnings and what to do with the money
Adams said contacting the bank first and then local law enforcement probably
saved the woman $4,500 of her own money.
"I've been in contact with the Federal Trade Commission and other different agencies," Adams
said. "They're aware of it. Since we're dealing with Canada, we're just not sure
and they're not sure what, if anything, can be done to get back the money for
those who have been scammed."
Adams said the first clue that a call or mailing is a scam is if you're
asked to pay to receive the money or a gift you are told you've won.
"This is what I told all of them. If something is legitimate, you don't have
to pay," Adams said. "Like if you win the Missouri Lottery, you're not required
to send money in order to get your money. Anytime that someone contacts you by
phone or by mail and requires you to send a certain amount of dollars to receive
a prize, or cash, or whatever, it's a scam."
She added that anyone who receives such a call or correspondence and
is suspicious of it should contact their local police or sheriff's departments.
Meanwhile, Jim Gardner, press secretary for Missouri Attorney General
Jay Nixon, said Monday afternoon that such scams go underground for a
time and then resurface in different forms.
He said the so-called "Nigerian Scam," which like the Canadian Lottery
scam is also an advanced fee fraud scheme, is an example.
"But, the method of operation is basically the same," Gardner said. "Somebody
will receive a phone call or an e-mail saying they won a foreign lottery and
that they need to either send a relatively large sum of money for a processing
fee, or in some instances they ask for a bank account number so they say they
can transfer the money into it. If (the victim) sends the money, of course, they
never see it again. If they actually give their bank account number, chances
are they'll find their bank account drained in a very short period of time."
He said when such incidents begin to resurface the attorney general's
office wants to know about them so their investigators can look into
There is a toll-free consumer protection hot line available through the
Missouri state attorney general's office at 1-800-392-8222.
Bogus British Bond Investment Program.
VANCOUVER - 05/07 (Vancouver Sun) Three men accused of bilking
hundreds of American investors of $3 million in an international
telemarketing fraud will be held in a Canadian jail to await extradition
to the U.S.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice T. Mark McEwan this week granted a
request by the federal attorney-general that Omid Tahvili, Reginald
Sanjay Pal and Derrick Joseph Squires be remanded in custody pending
their surrender to the U.S.
The three men are accused of running a Vancouver-based telemarketing
fraud scheme, called Lottery Companies, which targeted elderly
and vulnerable Americans between March 1999 and May 2002.
Tahvili, of North Vancouver, was allegedly the principal of the
company, while Pal and Squires were his employees.
Under the scheme, telemarketers allegedly hired by Tahvili called
elderly Americans from Canada, informing them they had won a lottery
or would receive money through a British bond investment program.
Before they could collect their cash, though, they had to send "fees" for
such things as taxes, expenses, activation and currency conversion.
None of the victims received any money, yet many plowed significant
sums into the scheme, the judge noted.
Cheques were made out to entities called D&C National Holdings
Ltd. and First British National Holdings, and were sent to one
of five commercial mailboxes in Canada.
The scheme was investigated by both the FBI and RCMP.
In his reasons for judgment, McEwan ruled the trio should be committed
to custody because there was reliable evidence of "the parallel
Canadian crime upon which a reasonable jury, properly instructed,
could convict" if the case was tried here.
Justifying a committal depends on admissibility, double criminality,
basic fairness and constitutional guarantees, the judge said.
"It matters not whether the case against the person sought
is 'weak' or whether the prospect for conviction is 'likely,'" the
judge said. "The ultimate question of guilt or innocence is
for the trial court in the foreign jurisdiction."
He noted Tahvili, Pal and Squires didn't take issue as to whether
the scheme was fraudulent but whether the evidence was sufficient
to connect them with it.
Tahvili had also argued the case against him does not necessarily
implicate him in wrongdoing.
Justice McEwan ruled the evidence showed Tahvili had incorporated
First British National Holdings as a sole director, and, along
with Squires, was also a director of D&C.
There was also evidence that Pal was second in command, the judge
"There is little doubt that the available evidence suggests
that someone committed acts relating to each of the complainants,
that there were intentional uses of dishonest means... to deprive
them of their property," the judge wrote.
"There is no innocent cast that can be put on a promise of
great riches or spectacular returns on an investment in exchange
for a payment of hundreds or thousands of dollars where the explanation
of the payment is untenable [taxes, expenses] and the promised
thing itself [a lottery win, British bonds] is imaginary."
Have you heard of a lottery called The Great 8? Somehow
connected with it is something calling itself the "New
Irish Sweepstakes Mutual Medical Insurance Trust Pension Fund" with
a Sir William Winfield, Treasurer. ( www.irish-sweepstakes.com/aTpad/TPBeneficiaryTrust.html
You pay into a pension fund and name your beneficiaries..... supposedly
you earn 25% interest --
I think -- I'm quite sure -- I've lost some $1200 here but I can't
find any evidence of this thing existing either legitimately or
illegitimately. Can you tell me anything?
The return envelopes looked just like the ones for the "El
Gordo" and the German lotteries, although they went to different
addresses, one in Texas, another in Delaware, and elsewhere.
Here's a quote:
"The International Irish Sweepstakes Triple Crown
Lottery & the preliminary Great 8 Daily
Marathon are funded, controlled by the New Irish
Sweepstakes Medical Insurance Trust. The Organization
is a nonprofit Community Remainder Trust founded and funded by
the Living Trust of Sir Jacob Winfield III, County of Cork, and
was established by due legal process in accordance with both
international and common law after his death on April 10, 1995."
"Whereas, it has become an active trust perpetuated by a
professional Trustee who superintends a giant international lottery
sweepstakes which culminates with the running of the equestrian
competition internationally known as the Triple Crown (see file
CC record 23883)."
"Trust Bylaws: In keeping with the tradition of the
world famous, but now defunct, Irish Hospital Sweepstakes, the
bylaws require that ten percent of the profits from the sale of
lottery tickets be used to fund FREE medical insurance pools operated
internationally in North America, Asia and the European Union. The
remainder of the profits are used to enlarge the sweepstakes itself
and to multiply the prize money on behalf of the winners in perpetuity."
Says it's a member of the International Pension Fund Audit Bureau.
Tesa Hayashi 03/22/02
The only government sponsored official lottery for Ireland appears
to be the Irish Lotto 6/42.
Linked to the questioned site is www.irishgreat8.com www.newirishsweepstakes.com
www.great8results.com www.ckws.com www.krustylu.com
The registrant of Irishgreat.com Irishgreat8.com and newirishsweepstakes.com
The Shamrock Agency
43 Cill Chais Shannon - County Clare, IE
Contact: Winnfield, William (WW1875)
Created on 16-Apr-1998. Domain servers: TOWNSQR.COM PCIS.NET
Town Square Internet ( townsqr.com )
1528 Imperial Center West Plains, MO 65775 417-256-3848
Panther Creek Information Services ( pcis.net )
1920 Panther Creek Rd. Fordland, MO 65652 US 417-767-2126
Registrant of great8results.com krustylu.com ckws.com
Domain server: ckws.com Created July 12/01 and May 7/01
Incomplete info given but the contact is email@example.com
who is the registrant of brocoli.com
We Domain Names
2312 Kings Road. #4, Suite #41
San Leandro, CA 92944 US
Contact: Brooke, Richard firstname.lastname@example.org
Created on 01-Jan-2000. Domain server: ckws.com
Micro Excell Computers ( microxl.net )
101 Broad Street Attalla, Alabama 35901
101 Broad Street Gadsden, Alabama 35901
Other Lotto Pool and Internet Lottery Offerings
www.thelottopool.com - Spam offering
Australian Lottery, World Lottery Office, $16.95
Articles dealing with Lottery Scams.
Nigerian Advance Fee Lottery Winning Notification Scams
Take Special Note: The examples you will
see on the Nigerian
Advance Fee Lottery Scam page, while promoting the fact that
you have won a lottery, are sent predominantly by email and represent
a consumer focused version of the Nigerian
Advance Fee Fraud which usually targets businesses and religious
The Nigerian scammers running this operation out of a base in
the Netherlands find that collectively seeking an average victim
loss of about $1500 from individuals is easier and quicker than
the average $10,000 they regularly take from businessmen who are
offered a percentage of millions of dollars for their assistance
in transferring funds overseas.
Note: The names of some reputable and valid lotteries
have been misused by the scammers.
Other Lottery Scam links.
World Lottery Organization list
of lottery fraud operations or illicit lottery activities.
Prize Scams - NZ Gov
Lottery Scam - FTC warning