Spanish police have arrested 43 Africans on suspicion of running a fraud ring in which people were duped into paying money as a handling charge to collect fake lottery winnings.
(Editor's note: See http://www.usamega.com/lottery-scams.asp for a description of this type of lottery scam.)
Authorities estimate the men — 42 Nigerians and one Senegalese — bilked people out of more than €2 million (US$2.6 million) altogether. They were arrested Tuesday in Seville, and another five Nigerians were arrested for being in Spain illegally, the Interior Ministry said.
The scam involved sending e-mails to people living abroad and telling them they had won a large amount of money in the Spanish National Lottery as part of a sweepstakes promotion overseas.
The suspects would then ask victims to send their bank details, in order to be paid their prize money, but would first demand a cash payment of €3,000 (US$4,000) as a processing fee.
The fake lotteries operated under the trade names of La Primitiva, International Lotto Commission and Bonus7p International Lotto.