Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 11, 2016, 2:30 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

California man turns in lottery scammers

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: California man turns in lottery scammers

When Daniel Larsen of Pleasanton got a letter from a Canadian company called Saatchi & Saatchi, he thought he had hit the jackpot — literally.

Enclosed in the envelope was a check for $4,900 and a letter saying this was just the start of a much bigger payday.

"It said I had won $250,000," said the 45-year-old painting contractor. "And the ($4,900) check looked so real, I really thought I may have for a minute."

However, as Larsen continued to read the letter, the company explained how he would need to wire $2,950 to the New Foundland company via Western Union or Money Gram to pay Canadian taxes on his winnings.

"At that point, I kind of had a gut feeling this was a fraud," said Larsen, who believed he may have had a slight chance of real winnings thanks to some Canadian lottery tickets he believes he purchased a few years ago. "I called up the company and someone said he was 'Paul Newman,' and at that point I was pretty sure it was a fake."

Larsen received the check on Thursday, and checked the company with the FBI on Friday. He was directed to PhoneBusters, a Canadian anti-fraud call center jointly operated by the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

"There's a lot of scams out there," said Barry Elliott, a detective and staff sergeant for the Ontario Provincial police and coordinator of PhoneBusters. "The lotto scam is just one of them, and it attacks people of all ages."

Elliott said lottery scams are not new, but there are some new twists to the old schemes. However, the basic principle is still the same — some unknown company sends a letter saying you've won, often times along with a check for thousands of dollars. While the checks may look real, it's all part of a scam to part you with your money.

Elliott said in 2005, PhoneBusters received complaints of 11,000 attempts of prize fraud and were contacted by 12,195 victims who lost $59 million from scams. In January of this year alone, PhoneBusters has received complaints of 1,000 attempts of fraud and have been in touch with 882 victims who lost a total of $5 million.

Elliott said it is important to remember when being contacted by such scams that a real lottery would not ask for anyone to send them money.

"The best advice is if you see what you think is a scam, just throw it away," said Elliott, who added that those attempting to cash a fraudulent check also can be prosecuted with a crime. "Don't respond, don't do anything. Just throw it away."

Contra Costa Times

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

14 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by LOTTOMIKE.
Page 1 of 1
mylollipop's avatar - Trek STLOGO6.png

United States
Member #24380
October 21, 2005
623 Posts
Offline
Posted: February 28, 2006, 2:41 pm - IP Logged

YES!  Finally someone has caughtYellow Eyes these

SCAMMERS!  Yes, Yes, Yes

    Konformthismfs's avatar - lisasham
    CA
    United States
    Member #4429
    April 23, 2004
    426 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: February 28, 2006, 3:12 pm - IP Logged

    Now Feed'em to the Lions!

                        Yes Nod

    It's not what you got,  It's what you give,  It's not the life you choose, It's the life you live! Guitar

      jeffrey's avatar - moon
      Hamilton, OH
      United States
      Member #4162
      March 27, 2004
      277 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: February 28, 2006, 6:11 pm - IP Logged

      Now Feed'em to the Lions!

                          Yes Nod

       I Agree 





        Avatar
        Sparta, NJ
        United States
        Member #18331
        July 9, 2005
        1977 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 28, 2006, 6:16 pm - IP Logged

        What would happen, if you just took the check, cashed it, and walked away. (Yes, I know, they usually bounce).  The worse you be out is the fee, the best would be a couple of grand in your account.  They sure wouldn't sue you for the money back!

        Cheers

        |||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

        I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #10720
          January 23, 2005
          933 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: February 28, 2006, 7:46 pm - IP Logged

          What would have happened is probably the check would have bounced or turned out to be invalid.. but for a brief time would look like it was in his account. The scammers want you to draw against those (temporary) funds to pay them the "taxes". He would have ended up owing the bank the amount of the check and the scammers might have gotten the "taxes" as real money and either disappear or ask for yet more.

          I can't believe, since this old trick has been around since Al Gore invented the internet, that people still fall for this.

           

            MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
            Beautiful Florida
            United States
            Member #5709
            July 18, 2004
            20126 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 28, 2006, 9:37 pm - IP Logged

            Finally someone who was'nt duped.....  Good for him..!

                                                         

                                                           "  When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty "

              Avatar

              United States
              Member #972
              December 30, 2002
              465 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: February 28, 2006, 10:14 pm - IP Logged

              The news isn't that good. The scammers didn't get caught, arrested, and reamed up the butt in in the prison shower like they deserve.

                wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

                United States
                Member #15143
                May 10, 2005
                414 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: February 28, 2006, 10:37 pm - IP Logged

                "The best advice is if you see what you think is a scam, just throw it away," said Elliott, who added that those attempting to cash a fraudulent check also can be prosecuted with a crime. "Don't respond, don't do anything. Just throw it away."

                Just throw it away and it means no work for me! Thumbs Up

                  Avatar
                  Knoxville
                  United States
                  Member #13510
                  April 7, 2005
                  89 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: March 1, 2006, 1:53 pm - IP Logged

                  I have seen several frauds, the latest was a practically new Acura MDX on Ebay for $2900.  We responded and were prompted to send money to London via Western Union.  I guess scammers always use Western Union or Money Order.  Needless to say I wanted to have this guy arrested but don't know how.  I do know extradition from England is super easy.

                    Avatar
                    Sparta, NJ
                    United States
                    Member #18331
                    July 9, 2005
                    1977 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: March 2, 2006, 11:43 am - IP Logged

                    They're offer millions of dollars for some guy hiding in a cave in Afganistan, namely Osma Bin Laden.  (Which is gotta be the last place I would want to exist!)  What do you get for turning in a scam artist?  A pat on the back and a dog bisquit?

                    Cheers

                    |||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

                    I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

                      Annual Payments's avatar - annual 20payments.jpg
                      Houston, TX
                      United States
                      Member #9841
                      December 23, 2004
                      236 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: March 2, 2006, 7:24 pm - IP Logged

                      I don't understand.  How can anyone fall for lotto scammers?  You have to buy a ticket to win!!!

                        Avatar
                        Sparta, NJ
                        United States
                        Member #18331
                        July 9, 2005
                        1977 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: March 2, 2006, 8:10 pm - IP Logged

                        I don't understand.  How can anyone fall for lotto scammers?  You have to buy a ticket to win!!!

                        GREAT HANDLE! 

                        I love it!

                        Cheers

                        |||::> *'`*:-.,_,.-:*''*:--->>> Chewie  <<<---.*''*:-.,_,.-:*''* <:::|||

                        I only trust myself - and that's a questionable choice

                          Annual Payments's avatar - annual 20payments.jpg
                          Houston, TX
                          United States
                          Member #9841
                          December 23, 2004
                          236 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: March 3, 2006, 2:09 am - IP Logged

                          Thanks Chewie =)

                            LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                            Tennessee
                            United States
                            Member #7853
                            October 15, 2004
                            11338 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: March 3, 2006, 2:22 am - IP Logged

                            BS,i hope the fraudster rots in jail....