Consumer Alert- Foreign Lottery Scams Targeting South Dakotans
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Larry Long is telling South Dakota consumers to beware of email, mail, and phone solicitations that are claiming lottery winners. Offers to enter international lotteries are illegal in South Dakota.
"Ignore all email, mail or phone solicitation regarding foreign lottery promotions," said Long. "It is illegal, and if you play, you are violating federal law. If you send money to these scammers, you will lose that money."
One South Dakotan received a letter in an unmarked envelope claiming that she was a winner. The letter included a fraudulent cashier’s check for $4100. The consumer was later contacted by a telemarketer to inform her that she in fact did win, but that the $4100 was sent in error and that the real winnings were worth closer to $200,000. The consumer was then asked to wire the $4100 back to the scam artist and in return the final check would be sent.
Follow these tips to avoid becoming a victim:
- Never wire money to someone you do not know.
- Refuse offers to buy international lottery tickets.
- Do not give out your social security number, credit card and bank account numbers to anyone who claims to be representing a foreign lottery.
- Do not pay up-front fees for prize promotions -if you have won, you shouldn’t have to pay anything.
- If you participate in a foreign lottery scam, expect more bogus offers because your name will be put on a "sucker list" that fraudulent telemarketers buy and sell.
If you have questions or concerns about foreign lottery scams contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or firstname.lastname@example.org.