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Postal worker prevents man from losing thousands to lottery scams

Scam AlertScam Alert: Postal worker prevents man from losing thousands to lottery scams
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Foreign lottery schemes continue to surface, keeping postal clerks and inspectors busy looking out for potential victims.

An observant postal clerk helped a man who had rival con-artists scheming him for cash, and it's a story that could help you or someone you know from falling for a similar scheme.

"They are told they've won a prize, either a sweepstakes or a lottery prize, but there is a catch," said Steve Bolz, U.S. Postal Inspector.

Foreign lottery schemes are costing Americans more than $120 million a year. Thousands of people are falling victim to the promise of big winnings.

"They have to pay money in order to collect this prize," said Bolz. "There will be some kind of explanation. It might be they have to pay taxes, they have to pay customs duties, processing fees, it's all window dressing."

In an unusual twist, a postal clerk tipped off Inspector Bolz to a victim being targeted by two rival groups of foreign lottery con artists.

"He was standing in line at the post office ready to mail a package, as one of these groups directed him, when he received a phone call on his cell phone from a rival group," said Bolz. "When they learned what he was doing, they gave him a new address to send that package. That is what he did."

The postal clerk sent that package to Bolz, who then returned it.

The victim was ready to send $13,000 in cash to the con artists.

Bolz told him it was all a scam, but the victim was reluctant to believe him.

"People don't want to believe this is a scam, because they really want to believe in that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow," said Bolz.

The victim in this case tried to send money again. This time, Bolz spoke to the victim's wife.

"She was very upset. She had no idea her husband was sending thousands of dollars overseas," said Bolz. "She had to take action at that point and rein him in."

She took his cell phone away and monitors their accounts daily, a sad byproduct of a scheme that seems to be on the rise.

"I was unable to get through to him, because the story he was being told was just so much better than the story I was telling him," said Bolz.

Postal inspectors want to stress lotteries are illegal, except when conducted by states and certain exempt charitable organizations.

There are no legitimate lotteries or sweepstakes that will ask for money upfront — that is a definite red flag.

WBAY

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12 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by jamella724.
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dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
Oklahoma
United States
Member #82391
November 12, 2009
6290 Posts
Offline
Posted: October 14, 2013, 12:53 pm - IP Logged

Good looking out observant postal clerkThumbs Up

I Love Pink & Green 1908

    ttech10's avatar - blobdude
    Texas
    United States
    Member #92330
    June 5, 2010
    887 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: October 14, 2013, 3:30 pm - IP Logged

    I'll never understand why people fall for these.

    There are plenty of examples of things here in the US where you have to pay some sort of tax, yet you don't have to pay anything to receive them.

    If I ever get one of these scam letters I'll send them a reply telling them to simply take the taxes/duties/fees out of my winnings. It would be interesting to see if they respond to me. I would try to bribe them in another reply, saying once they send me the money I would send triple the taxes/duties/fees to them for the trouble.

      Avatar
      Keokuk,Iowa
      United States
      Member #116504
      September 12, 2011
      305 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: October 14, 2013, 3:55 pm - IP Logged

      I'll never understand why people fall for these.

      There are plenty of examples of things here in the US where you have to pay some sort of tax, yet you don't have to pay anything to receive them.

      If I ever get one of these scam letters I'll send them a reply telling them to simply take the taxes/duties/fees out of my winnings. It would be interesting to see if they respond to me. I would try to bribe them in another reply, saying once they send me the money I would send triple the taxes/duties/fees to them for the trouble.

      I'd just turn the mail over to the Postal authorities and let them handle it.

        RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
        mid-Ohio
        United States
        Member #9
        March 24, 2001
        19824 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: October 15, 2013, 11:51 am - IP Logged

        I'll never understand why people fall for these.

        There are plenty of examples of things here in the US where you have to pay some sort of tax, yet you don't have to pay anything to receive them.

        If I ever get one of these scam letters I'll send them a reply telling them to simply take the taxes/duties/fees out of my winnings. It would be interesting to see if they respond to me. I would try to bribe them in another reply, saying once they send me the money I would send triple the taxes/duties/fees to them for the trouble.

        They only respond if you send money but to get one of those letters you have to first get on someone's list of stupid people.  I haven't gotten one of those letters for years, I guess the list I was on isn't active anymore.

         * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
           
                     Evil Looking       

          Avatar
          Kentucky
          United States
          Member #32652
          February 14, 2006
          7302 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: October 15, 2013, 2:11 pm - IP Logged

          They only respond if you send money but to get one of those letters you have to first get on someone's list of stupid people.  I haven't gotten one of those letters for years, I guess the list I was on isn't active anymore.

          People pay lots of money for those "stupid people lists". And not all the people on those lists are stupid, just guilty of filing out an Online questionnaire. Not many people respond and those who do are usually more greedy than stupid. That's still a very lethal combination and I can't figure out why we should feel sorry for them.

            Avatar
            Keokuk,Iowa
            United States
            Member #116504
            September 12, 2011
            305 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: October 15, 2013, 2:19 pm - IP Logged

            People pay lots of money for those "stupid people lists". And not all the people on those lists are stupid, just guilty of filing out an Online questionnaire. Not many people respond and those who do are usually more greedy than stupid. That's still a very lethal combination and I can't figure out why we should feel sorry for them.

            We shouldn't.Anyone who thinks they are going to win a lottery that they didn't play is S T U P I D!!! Stupidity doesn't deserve any sympathy!


              United States
              Member #130815
              July 25, 2012
              1636 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: October 15, 2013, 2:24 pm - IP Logged

              I'll never understand why people fall for these.

              There are plenty of examples of things here in the US where you have to pay some sort of tax, yet you don't have to pay anything to receive them.

              If I ever get one of these scam letters I'll send them a reply telling them to simply take the taxes/duties/fees out of my winnings. It would be interesting to see if they respond to me. I would try to bribe them in another reply, saying once they send me the money I would send triple the taxes/duties/fees to them for the trouble.

              I also cannot understand why in the name of the father  that people keep falling for this, then they lose everything and want us to feel sorry for them...it's not like they havent been warned fifty million times over...I mean really people who would believe someone you never met in Nigeria would tell you you've won some money??? I mean really Nigeria has a lottery bigger than powerball?? Also why in the wold would you have to send money to receive money?? Why arent they sending you forms from the IRS to fill out?? You still gotta pay the U.S. taxes...I mean if they would just stop and think....but i guess it's like mama said "fools and their money are soon parted"

                HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                United States
                Member #72448
                March 18, 2009
                1228 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: October 15, 2013, 8:37 pm - IP Logged

                People pay lots of money for those "stupid people lists". And not all the people on those lists are stupid, just guilty of filing out an Online questionnaire. Not many people respond and those who do are usually more greedy than stupid. That's still a very lethal combination and I can't figure out why we should feel sorry for them.

                Plus, sadly, some of these responders live alone and have a slight or heavy case of Dementia and/or Alzheimer brain trouble.

                Coffee

                The wife in this article, QUICKLY, needs to gain "custodianship" over her husband so that he can no longer make withdrawals from their bank accounts!  It's the only remaining, loving thing she can do for their future welfare.

                Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                Disney

                  Goteki54's avatar - Lottery-007.jpg
                  Baltimore, MD
                  United States
                  Member #143332
                  May 30, 2013
                  398 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: October 15, 2013, 10:01 pm - IP Logged

                  It's nce to know that there are still good people out there.Smile Of course most of these scams target the elderly. However, a scam should be obvious. They know they didn't play a lottery in another country, so why would they think they won something they never played?What? Scaming people is low, but scaming elderly people is as low as a human soul can get.

                  Following the trends and patterns means following the money!Banana

                    Avatar
                    New Member
                    los angeles, ca
                    United States
                    Member #110557
                    May 6, 2011
                    2 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: October 16, 2013, 4:30 pm - IP Logged

                    If you  are dumb enough to send thousands of dollars to a stranger u deserve to get scammed...Idiots

                      Avatar
                      New York, NY
                      United States
                      Member #13514
                      April 7, 2005
                      235 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: October 23, 2013, 4:50 pm - IP Logged

                      I'm amazed he was so willing to fall for this!!!!  I pray as I get older, I remember these types of things and do not become a victim.

                        Avatar
                        Texas
                        United States
                        Member #132455
                        September 4, 2012
                        483 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: November 17, 2013, 3:58 am - IP Logged

                        I commend him for his concern to other people. I hope other people will learn from this story so they don't have to fall for this kind of scam. Other people prefer to have easy money and they don't care if they will take advantage of other people and those kind of people are really irritating. For players we need to be extremely careful and we should be reminded that if we didn't purchase a ticket there's no way we will become winner.