Attorney General Warns of Scam

by Dave on August 27, 2010

Attorney General Beau Biden warns consumers about a lottery scam that is circulating via email. The scam is an attempt to convince recipients that they have won the Delaware Lottery by a “computer ballot system” and states that the contest is “promoted and sponsored by the Delaware State Government.” Recipients are directed to contact a clearance officer to receive their winnings.

Delaware Lottery winners, in fact, are not notified by email and consumers who are solicited by this scam are urged to disregard the notice and contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at (800) 220-5424. The scam message is deceptively official in its appearance using Delaware Lottery logos and a signature (see attached copy). To-date, the scam has only been reported from one overseas recipient, but could easily circulate into other regions.

“These scammers have gone to great lengths to convince victims they’re legitimate,” Biden said. “But if consumers are aware, they’ll see right through it. If you didn’t buy a lottery ticket, you didn’t win the lottery.”

Biden recommended the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of lottery and sweepstakes scams:

· Refuse offers to buy international lottery tickets. Never believe a letter, phone call or Internet message that claims to guarantee you a prize. Legitimate lotteries do not guarantee that you will win a prize and do not require people to join prize pools to play.

· Do not give out your social security number, credit card and bank account numbers to anyone.

* Do not pay up-front fees for prize promotions if you have won.

· Never wire money to someone you do not know. Don’t ever wire funds from a check you’ve received to pay “taxes or fees” for a promised lottery or sweepstakes prize. You’ll never see your money again. Reject any kind of scheme that sends you a check and asks you to wire money back to the sender.

* Beware of solicitors requesting money be sent via a wire service or overnight delivery. This is a quick, easy and anonymous way for scam artists to get the money and run.

Press release from Delaware Department of Justice

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