Just like our “Be streetwise and Safe” mention a few weeks ago, here’s another crazy thing that must be told to people. You did NOT win some foreign lottery! The gullibility of humans is amazing. Heck, it’s why advertising is still a big industry, right?

If it sounds too good to be true {common sense again - "Foreign Lottery"}

Foreign Lottery Scams: You’ve Won! Then Again, Maybe Not…

If it sounds too good to be true {common sense again}

Winning a lottery isn’t something that occurs often whatsoever, but when the words “you’ve won” appear on a piece of mail or are heard by a faceless person over the phone, your pulse might pick up the pace. When that eagerness and an overwhelming sense of joy sets in, pause and take a deep breath. The win may not be everything it appears to be.

A foreign lottery scam will attempt to create excitement and a sense of urgency in a victim. It will lure the person in with the promise of large sums of money and will require a small sum in advance for fees and taxes. There’s only a small window of opportunity in which to claim a prize, and the victim will usually be asked to send the con artist money through a wire transfer or cash sent through the mail.

Several red flags alert the potential victim that the lottery win is a scam.

  • First, unless you’ve actually entered a foreign lottery, it’s almost impossible to have won a prize from one. Foreign countries aren’t in the habit of giving away money to random people in the United States.
  • Second, a lottery win that requests money before you can receive the prize is undoubtedly a scam. No legitimate lottery should ask you to pay fees & taxes up-front before you receive the prize.
  • Third, if you’re being pressured into sending money quickly before the opportunity expires, the request reeks of a scam. A legitimate lottery official won’t pressure you to send money immediately to avoid forfeiting your prize.

More than $42 million has been lost by Americans over the past three years to foreign lottery scams. You can also learn more visiting the National Consumer Protection Week website as well.

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NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.

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