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




International Lotteries vs. Lottery Scams

How to tell the difference between a government operated lottery, an International lottery, and a scam letter that says you won the lottery.

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


  1. Do your homework before handing your money to over anyone.

  2. Entering a lottery is gambling.

  3. Spend your money wisely and responsibly.  It's what keeps a roof over your head and food on the table.

Sweepstakes are advertiser-sponsored and are used for the specific purpose of providing marketing exposure through advertising pages and emails.  There is no entry fee and jackpots are provided by those advertisers.  Therefore, it is in their best interest to advertise as much as possible through 3rd party email marketing programs.

Country and state or provincial lotteries (i.e. government lotteries) target the residents of that country or state and their advertising is through the media.  That means through the use of billboards, newspapers, and TV and radio commercials - NOT email unless you have requested email notifications on the lottery information web site.  There is an entry fee, and the value of the jackpot is the cumulative total of all the entry fees less operating expenses. (See Number Games)



All lotteries must be registered and licensed with a gaming commission or regulator.

A lottery regulator may be a Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economics, Gaming Board, State Gaming Commission, or any of a number differently named agencies.  Individual countries have gaming regulators, and sometimes individual states or provinces within that country have their own gaming regulators.

Whenever you receive a winning notification, you can always ask for their license number and licensing agency.  Then you can contact the licensing agency INDEPENDENTLY by searching for the agency on the Internet.  You must NEVER contact any agency number, name, or address listed in the notification letter.  Obviously, if the letter is from a swindler you will be provided with a name and phone number of another member of the fraud network.  It's the same as asking the thief you find in your house if he is going to steal anything.

This is the link to the Gaming Regulators European Forum list of Regulators:  Here you will find links to many Gaming Commission web sites.  I have provided these examples so that you will not be fooled if a lottery scam swindler tries to put together a web site that just looks like a legitimate gaming commission or regulator site.

Many lottery companies also belong to lottery associations and lottery organizations.  I have provided a sample of two lottery organization web sites: The World Lottery Association and the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.  Again, this gives you the chance to compare legitimate lottery association web sites with any that a lottery scam swindler may put on the Internet to fool you.

World Lottery Association Condition of Membership

World Lottery Association Members

North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries

Government operated lotteries

Do not use agents.

Have well-organized and informative web sites that DO NOT have anything to do with investments or banks or courier services or escrow services.

Have web sites written in the native language of the residents of that country or state.

Allow for a choice of whether you want your name used for publicity purposes or not.

Provide registration for players and a personal player account.

Have eligibility requirements, such as being a citizen of the country in which the lottery is held.

DO NOT require advance fees to acquire your winnings.

DO NOT require you to return a portion of the winning check.

Never ever ship cash.

Are subject to the lottery laws and rules as established by the Lottery Commission of that country.  These can be found under "Terms and Conditions" (in the native language) on each site, or under an explanation link or history link on the site.

Send winnings via a check with the lottery operator's name as the account holder or other method that comes directly from the lottery management account.  Example: If you win the California State Lottery, you receive a California State Lottery check.

Do not pay out large winnings in cash.

You are expected to pay your taxes.  If you enter the lottery of a foreign country, then you are responsible for the taxes in that country and, in many cases, the taxes in your own country and state/province as well.  Don't let yourself in for any unpleasant surprises - check your tax laws.  Taxes for the lottery country are removed from the winnings before disbursement to the winner.


Make up lottery names all day every day.  See Names used in lottery scams.

Send emails saying you won a lottery you never entered or that your email address was drawn at random.

Often go on about batch numbers and claims agents.

Have more than one country listed in the winning notice.

Send winning checks drawn on a company name that has nothing to do with lotteries.

And more ... See Lottery FAQ's and How to identify a lottery scam letter

One good place to check out available government operated lotteries, and how their web sites are set up, is here:



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.

If you have doubts about Fraud Aid, Inc. do not hesitate to contact federal (FBI, Secret Service, RCMP) Scotland Yard, or local law enforcement to check us out.

Information provided about lotteries and lottery scam: Fraud Aid, Inc. is not affiliated with any pay-to-play or free online lottery or Sweepstakes games and derives no income from any pay-to-play or free online lotteries or Sweepstakes or any of their participating sponsors with the possible exception of a sponsor's independent advertising unassociated with any drawings promotion; nor does Fraud Aid promote or sponsor any lotteries or Sweepstakes or numbers drawing of any kind.

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