Lottery Scams

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Lottery Scam Home Menu:

How to identify a lottery scam letter

How to really verify a check or money order

The answers to your most frequent lottery scam questions

It is illegal for US Citizens to enter foreign lotteries: Federal Statute

Look in the Lottery Scam Email database for emails that are like the one you got

Lottery names used in lottery scam letters




Green Card Lottery Scam: Truth and Lies in simple words

International Lotteries vs. Lottery Scams

Luck of the draw: Numbers games and drawings

Free lotteries - Some are legitimate, some are not

List of Official US Federal and State Lottery web sites

Gaming Commissions and Lottery Associations

ID Theft Prevention To-Do List

Threat emails

File a Scam Email Report



Payment Processing & other Counterfeit Draft Scams


FDIC Special Alerts List of Counterfeit Checks






Lottery FAQ's 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 

Answers to your most frequently asked

questions about lottery emails

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Is my winning notification letter true if the names in the letter are different from the ones in your database?

Even if the names on the winning notification are different than the ones in the database, that does not mean the letter is okay.  It is not the names that make the lottery letter true or false.  It is what the letter SAYS that makes it fraudulent.  That is why you will find a list of sentences and statements in PART II below that show you how to identify a fraudulent lottery letter.  If the letter you have contains even one of the sentences or statements listed below, your letter is a fraud! 

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I've played the lottery online.  How do I know this isn't from them?

In order to play an online lottery or sweepstakes, you must first REGISTER your name, address, phone number, and email address at the online lottery site.  If you are registering with an online lottery, you are often asked to register a credit card number as well.  ALL LEGITIMATE ONLINE LOTTERIES AND SWEEPSTAKES HAVE TERMS AND CONDITIONS / RULES & REGULATION PAGES.  These pages explain how you are notified if you win.

In many cases, in order to see if you have won, you must log into your registered account.  Some online lotteries will notify winners, but you still must log into your account in order to check your winnings and choose whether you want to be paid by check or by a credit to your credit card.

Sweepstakes notify you by email, but still request that you log into your account to make payment determinations or to confirm the email. 

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They've asked me to refer them to friends and family.

This is their latest ploy - network marketing.  The sad thing is that it's working.  If you have sent off the name and address, email, telephone number of a friend or relative in reply to a winning lottery notification, please call that person immediately and have them read all the information or explain the scam to them yourself. 

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My notification came by standard post and the documents look genuine.  Doesn't that make it real?

Lottery scam letters are sent by email, regular post, Federal Express, DHL, UPS, etc.  All available deliveries methods are used.  In the US, the letters - along with the envelope they came in, regardless of the delivery method - are to be taken to the nearest Post Office, ATTN: US Postal Inspector.  Any fraud delivered within the contiguous United States of America using any official delivery system comes under the offices of the US Postal Inspector General's Fraud Investigation Unit.

As for the documents looking oh-so-real, they're not.  Using a computer graphics program, a person can create any kind of document whatsoever.  Please remember that unless you can DIRECTLY contact the registered lottery company itself, not some agent, not some fellow on a cell phone, not some person in a country where the lottery is not registered with the gaming board, watch out!

Lastly, always remember - it's not who wrote the letter that makes it a scam, it's what the letter SAYS that makes it a scam. 

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The lottery claims that it is "REGISTERED UNDER THE DATA PROTECTION ACT."  Is that true?

The Data Protection Act of 1998 has absolutely nothing to do with licensing or registering lottery management companies or lottery commissions, nor does it register anything at all.  It is an Act created in the United Kingdom for British citizens to regulate the access and dissemination of their personal information by those who have possession of it.

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The lottery claims that it is registered with the European Gaming Commission.  Is that true?

No, it is a lie.  There is no such thing as the European Gaming Commission.  Lottery scammers will claim that the lottery you've 'won' is affiliated, from, or registered with all kinds of fake agencies.  They know how to make names sound official.

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I received a notice from FreeLotto.  Did I win?

FreeLotto is a Sweepstakes sponsored by merchants in North America.  Like any Sweepstakes, they send out a great deal of advertising, but only to those who have opened an account on the FreeLotto web site.

Lottery scammers take advantage of the advertising by sending out fake winning notices.  The ONLY way you should verify you have won a FreeLotto game is by logging into your account on the FreeLotto web site.

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We are not attorneys and don't pretend to be.  In our experience, the information and guidance offered on this site have proven to be effective; however, we always recommend that you consult with an attorney.

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