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Woman receives realistic lottery scam letter, check

Scam AlertScam Alert: Woman receives realistic lottery scam letter, check

Includes video report

POWELL, Tenn. — Something that many people would want to hear is, "You've won the lottery!" When the information comes from a scammer trying to steal your money, beware. It's no game.

With two months left before Christmas, thousands of these letters will likely be mailed. The Federal Trade Commission is warning people to watch out for fake lottery scams involving the fraudulent use of the Mega Millions name or logo. Some of the phony names being used include Mega Millions Mobile Lottery, Mega Millions International Lottery and American Mega Lottery.

A letter with the "American Mega Lottery" heading was received in Powell just the other day.

"I got this letter in the mail saying that I won $250,000. And I had to deposit this check in my bank account," said Allison Dawson.

Dawson received a check she got in the mail for $6,950 to help pay for her winnings.

"I was supposed to call him right back, don't go public with it, keep my letter," Dawson said.

The letter came from the "American Mega Lottery" from Las Vegas and London, England. To collect her money, the correspondence came with more instructions for her to follow.

"Call him right back so he could set me up with a tax advisor for my money," she said.

You'd need a tax adviser, too, if you got swindled by this scam.

"When I called the guy, he told me to deposit it in my bank account and call him right back," said Dawson.

She was also told what the check represented and why she was sent it — to help pay taxes, handling and shipping fees. She was also assigned a security number and given more instructions.

"When I call him, he asks me the PIN number, then he puts me on hold and tells me he has to activate the check," Dawson said.

The check appears real and is meant to. It has realistic water marks and a heat sensitive marking that disappears when you touch it. However, the check is phony. If Dawson had deposited it, she would be out almost $7,000.

"It is a scam, obviously. It gets your attention, holiday season. People get ready to start their shopping for Thanksgiving and Christmas and you get, wow a $6,900 check," said Better Business Bureau President Jerry Tipton.

Tipton says his office gets calls from folks receiving these types of deceptive letters.

"And they are sending out thousands of these to people and many people will bite on these unfortunately," he said.

Here are some tips that can prevent you from being scammed:

  • If someone says you have won a lottery that you have never played, be suspicious.
  • If you are told you need to keep your win "confidential," be suspicious.
  • If you are told you can "verify" the prize by calling a certain number, be suspicious.

Remember also, no real lottery would tell a winner to put up money to collect a prize.

There is a real Mega Millions lottery, but no representative of Mega Millions would ever call, email or send a letter to anyone about winning a prize. Just the fact that Dawson received a letter at all is odd. If you enter a lottery, you buy tickets and the lottery has no idea who the winners are before they walk into lottery headquarters and redeem the ticket. All the tickets are bought anonymously.

The scams take many forms and the scammers use many tricks.

VIDEO: Watch the news report

LYZw4XcsmnsWoman receives realistic lottery scam letter, checkWith two months left before Christmas, scammers are out in full force, trying to separate victims from their life savings.T04M28Shttps://img.youtube.com/vi/LYZw4Xcsmns/1.jpghttps://youtu.be/LYZw4Xcsmns2016-10-27T08:00:00-05:00


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13 comments. Last comment 1 month ago by KY Floyd.
Page 1 of 1
ressuccess's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg

United States
Member #93164
June 23, 2010
1322 Posts
Posted: October 27, 2016, 8:36 am - IP Logged

I didn't know there was a lottery report on this one.

I hope that one $2 ticket is the only one that matches all 5 numbers plus the Powerball to win the largest Powerball Jackpot in United States history of over $2 Billion Dollars!

    rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
    United States
    Member #55889
    October 23, 2007
    5600 Posts
    Posted: October 27, 2016, 8:40 am - IP Logged

    This might sound rash, but frankly, these scammers don't deserve to live.



      dpoly1's avatar - driver
      United States
      Member #66141
      October 16, 2008
      1672 Posts
      Posted: October 27, 2016, 8:42 am - IP Logged


      Stealing from hard working people

      dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -


      Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

        United States
        Member #163189
        January 22, 2015
        670 Posts
        Posted: October 27, 2016, 9:15 am - IP Logged

        This might sound rash, but frankly, these scammers don't deserve to live.

        No, I hear you loud and clear.  The lotto scammers that got my Dad will get theirs.  And that biatch that befriended my Dad and ran up huge credit card bills...she'll get hers too.  Dad had Alzheimers and all this happened before he went to a memory care center.


        I read the IRS scammers came from Mumbai, India and many were arrested.


        Please, please let me get one of these fake lottery scam letters...I'm salivating like Pavlov's dog!

          noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
          Bay Area - California
          United States
          Member #136477
          December 12, 2012
          4108 Posts
          Posted: October 27, 2016, 10:08 am - IP Logged

          It's unfortunate but  many people out there will attempt to cash those checks.The old adage still applies: If you did NOT enter a contest, you did not win. "

          People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

            Gambler4Life's avatar - Lottery-011.jpg
            United States
            Member #151482
            January 18, 2014
            46 Posts
            Posted: October 27, 2016, 12:57 pm - IP Logged
            • You are funny as hell!!!  As they say in Washington, DC, "Don't get got.!"
              Gambler4Life's avatar - Lottery-011.jpg
              United States
              Member #151482
              January 18, 2014
              46 Posts
              Posted: October 27, 2016, 1:01 pm - IP Logged

              OKAY!!  I've won lots of state lotteries (DC, VA, MD, TX, MO, TN, NJ, GA, RI, IL, FL) to know better than to pay somebody to get paid!! C'mon man!!!!

                Raven62's avatar - binary
                New Jersey
                United States
                Member #17843
                June 28, 2005
                49758 Posts
                Posted: October 27, 2016, 1:29 pm - IP Logged

                Good One: Social Engineering at its Finest!

                A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

                  LottoAce's avatar - WWI Flying_Ace.gif
                  United States
                  Member #56005
                  October 28, 2007
                  831 Posts
                  Posted: October 27, 2016, 3:56 pm - IP Logged

                  con artist are everywhere in everything...
                  funny thing is, these people are intelligent,
                  educated, and able enough to work in an
                  honest proffesion!

                  "know your limitations, but excede your expectations"

                    Groppo's avatar - cat anm.gif

                    United States
                    Member #162631
                    January 7, 2015
                    504 Posts
                    Posted: October 27, 2016, 5:20 pm - IP Logged

                    con artist are everywhere in everything...
                    funny thing is, these people are intelligent,
                    educated, and able enough to work in an
                    honest proffesion!



                    I hate rip-offs. I hate anything indecent and corrupt.

                    Sad situation, if it has to do with scams.
                    I didn't even read the whole article. Did I have to?

                    If I ever win a big lotto, I'm going to hold a small lotto myself, from my own winnings.
                    I don't know yet, how big or how far it will reach, or depending on my tax liability, at that point,
                    but doggonit, it's going to be REAL, and nothing to do with telephones.
                    It will be, say 4 chances for a given amount of money, that will cost $1.00 (one dollar per 4 chances, AFTER my donations to
                    St. Judes and Shriners have been completed). Again, this will be if I ever win a big lotto to mean: OVER $10 million (ten million dollar prize win).

                    Because I'm sick of the scammers I read about.
                    And of the Feds who don't know enough how to put the fear of God into these rip-off artists.
                    I don't want these suckers running around, just because the Feds. are there, ready to bust them.

                    I don't want them to do it in the first place.



                    On a funny note: This has nothing to do with lotto, but I started to remember a scene out of a
                    cheech and chong movie and I started laughing. It was in some movie they did.
                    Where the detectives are dressed in borrowed Hari Krishna tunics and crossing the street. They're shown wearing business socks,
                    and two-tone patent leather shoes.They're also playing the borrowed instruments
                    and toting their weapon holsters.
                    I doggone nearly D I E D the first time I saw that scene. It's on youtube. I was howling hard and crying the first time I saw that insanity.

                    • Don't chase the numbers you play.
                    • Play only numbers you've already played, plus however many random picks.
                    • But, ALWAYS the regular numbers you play.  This will make you a winner, not a chaser.
                              (so far, though, I've yet to win any significant lotto prize)
                      HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                      United States
                      Member #72448
                      March 18, 2009
                      1228 Posts
                      Posted: October 27, 2016, 5:50 pm - IP Logged

                      Tipton ... really? Ha ha. Smash

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


                        United States
                        Member #153806
                        March 26, 2014
                        345 Posts
                        Posted: October 27, 2016, 6:56 pm - IP Logged

                        The article does not really explain how the woman would have been out the $7k if she cashed the check.  These scams have been around for a while.  The only way she would have been out the money is if she actually sent money to the scammers.

                          United States
                          Member #23835
                          October 16, 2005
                          3474 Posts
                          Posted: October 27, 2016, 7:48 pm - IP Logged

                          I'm just guessing, but the part about the money being to help with taxes is probably the key. A fairly common scam is to send somebody a worthless check, asking them to deposit it and wire the money somewhere for some reason. One version is when you've offered something for sale online a scammer will send you a check for more than the selling price and claim they've made arrangements for shipping but you need to send the payment to the shipper. If they can make you think there's a plausible reason for sending the check then you just might fall for it. By the time your bank finds out the check is worthless and deducts the money from your account the scammer has what you wired and you're SOL.

                          If she only deposited the check and didn't send any money to anyone the worst that would happen is that she gets hit with a fee for the bounced check.