Lottery and Charity Fraud

Lottery and Charity Scams Articles and Information

    Charitable donation scams

    Scam artists claiming to represent charitable organizations use e-mails and telephone calls to steal donations and in some cases donors' identities.

    International lottery fraud

    Scam operators, often based in Canada, use telephone and direct mail to notify victims that they have won a lottery. To show good faith, the perpetrator may send the victim a check. The victim is instructed to deposit the check and immediately send (via wire) the money back to the lottery committee. The perpetrator will create a “sense of urgency,” compelling the victim to send the money before the check, which is counterfeit, is returned. The victim is typically instructed to pay taxes, attorney’s fees and exchange rate differences in order to receive the rest of the prize. These lottery solicitations violate U.S. law, which prohibits the cross-border sale or purchase of lottery tickets by phone or mail.

      Fake prizes

      A perpetrator claims the victim has won a nonexistent prize and either asks the person to send a check to pay the taxes or obtains the credit card or checking account number to pay for shipping and handling charges.