A man in Atlanta, Georgia was the victim of a foreign lottery mail scam on Saturday. Larry Simmons received a letter in the mail claiming he won $1.95 million in the EuroMillones lottery out of Madrid, Spain. The letter claimed he won through a computer ballot system, and that he was one of 40 international winners. In order to claim his prize, he was urged to contact an assigned claim agent for processing; the claim agent was allegedly entitled to up to 5% of the winnings.
Simmons took the letter to local law enforcement officials and explained to them that he did not enter any foreign lotteries. This sort of mail fraud is illegal and the attorney general offers the following tips on its website of how to avoid foreign lottery scams:
- Do not give your bank account or credit car number to a person you do not know
- You do not have to pay for something you have “won,” whether it be charges or custom clearing fees or taxes
- The only legal lottery a consumer can participate in is the state-run lottery
- Beware of callers or mail requesting money via wire services or overnight transfers. Scam artists are able to take money from individuals through this process.
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