Crimes of Persuasion

Schemes, scams, frauds.

Terms Used in Scam El Gordo Mega Lotto International or European Internet Lottery Program Sweepstake Company Global Nigerian Fraud Email Scams

If you've found this page by searching it means that the email you got is a scam. It is but one variation of the Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud. This particular type is covered at Nigerian Lottery Scams. Also see other advance fee variations and counterfeit check scams from Nigeria, Spain and Amsterdam.

Note: The names of some reputable and valid lotteries have been misused by the scammers.

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New to you maybe...

New 'Nigerian' lottery scam uncovered

29 March 2004 Expatica News

AMSTERDAM — A suspected Nigerian swindling gang is active in the Netherlands again with a new fake lottery trick.

The gang sends a letter to people informing them they have a large prize in a Spanish lottery, but the "winners" are told they must first pay a gambling tax before receiving their "funds". The victim never receives the prize money.

The Spanish embassy in The Hague has said it receives daily phone calls from people who have received a letter from Madrid. Several of them have already paid, a spokesman said.

The embassy assumes that a Nigerian gang is behind the scam, due to the method involved. A group of Nigerians were arrested in Madrid last year for a similar scheme, promising to pay out large sums of money for a small fee.

Amsterdam police also arrested in 2002 a Nigerian gang that swindled investments from wealthy Dutch nationals. The swindlers disappeared once they received the invested cash, newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Monday.

Consumer watchdog Consumentenbond also receives regular reports about fraudulent schemes and a spokesman said the swindlers seek out countries where they can best operate.

"There is no supervisory authority in the Netherlands that can tackle this sort of fraud," he said.

The watchdog urged for the creation of a European-wide supervisory authority with sufficient powers to take action where necessary.

Fraudulent lottery schemes similar to the latest version also operate via email. The Nigerian government has posted warnings on its embassy websites and it outlines the various measures that are being taken against the scam gangs.

Nevertheless, it advises people to not respond to any fraudulent or suspicious advance fee scheme and report the matter to police or Nigerian authorities.

Nigerians in Canada Scam Americans with Australian Lottery

By Sean Berry - The Sun-Herald - Australia

01/05 - Criminals in Canada have ripped off Americans using an Australian lottery as a front.

The con artists sent congratulatory letters to their victims saying they had won more than $500,000 in the "Oz 6/45" lottery draw, and asked them to send a cheque to cover legal fees.

Despite having never entered the lottery - it does not exist - about 50 Americans fell for the scam.

Cash and cheques for thousands of dollars were sent from America to a Sydney address. One envelope contained more than $3300 in cash.

Tipped off by consumer complaints, NSW Office of Fair Trading investigators tracked the contact details to toll-free telephone lines in Canada.

They intercepted the letters and returned the money, receiving mixed responses.

"Some of the people had already realised they had been conned and were very happy to get the money back," a Fair Trading spokeswoman said. "Others were angry because they were expecting their money and thought it still might come."

The Office of Fair Trading is working with its Canadian counterpart to track down the perpetrators.

NSW Fair Trading Minister Reba Meagher said the scam was particularly effective because it claimed to be from official lottery agents Oz Lotto and Lotto Strike, and used their official logos.

The use of an Australian mailbox maintained the illusion of legitimacy.

"Every year there are millions of letters sent from con artists trying to lure consumers with false promises of wealth," Ms Meagher said.

Australia has recently become a prime target for Canadian cons.

In 2003, more than 20,000 scam letters from the country were destroyed after a NSW Supreme Court decision. The letters, attached to a fake cheque, promised a cash windfall of $13,000 provided the consumer sent $49.95 first.

In 2001, the Supreme Court crushed another Canadian venture.

The scammers offered clairvoyants' reports and bogus lottery winnings - but asked for fees of up to $30 up front.

Fair Trading was authorised to return 5500 cheques and credit card payments, totalling about $150,000, to NSW consumers.

The Fair Trading spokeswoman said Australians, who were known around the world for their love of gambling, were also susceptible to overseas lottery scams.

"There have been similar scams in Australia recently using genuine Spanish lotteries as a cover," the spokeswoman said.

Ms Meagher said foreign lotteries were illegal in Australia and common sense was needed to avoid being fleeced. "The simple truth is you can't win a lottery you haven't entered," she said.

The spokeswoman said that the fake lotto mail was routed through six addresses and was one of the more clever lottery cons.

"They are fairly common but this one was more ingenious because they asked for the legal fees," she said.

"It's rare to get thousands in cash being sent to people like that."

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