Friday, 18 May 2018

BEWARE OF  LOTTERY SCAMMERS                                                       

“You’ve won the lottery!” It’s something that many people want to hear. But sometimes those words come from scammers who are trying to steal your money. Some of those scammers have falsely identified themselves as being affiliated with Mega Millions.

No representative of Mega Millions would ever call or e-mail anyone about winning a prize. That goes for all lottery games. If you bought a lottery ticket and your numbers match the winning numbers, it is your responsibility to notify the lottery officials that you have the winning ticket.

These scams take many forms and the scammers use many tricks to get your money. The criminals may contact unsuspecting consumers by email, telephone, mobile phone, or through social media sites and tell intended victims they have won a large prize. They might identify themselves as being with Mega Millions or another legitimate lottery, even though Mega Millions like all lotteries is a game, not an organization.

These scams all have one thing in common. They try to trick you into sending them money or personal information by claiming that you have won a large lottery prize. They often target older people and have been known to wipe out the victims’ retirement savings.

If the person is fooled into thinking he or she has won a prize, the crooks usually try to get the person to wire money for “taxes” or “fees.” They may also try to get the victim to provide them with a bank account number, which they will then clean out. Another trick is to send the winner a bogus “check” and ask the winner to send money back to cover expenses. It is only after their victims have sent their own money that they discover the cheque they received was counterfeit.

On May 15th, of this year, I received a call from a man who said that he was from Mega Millions and that my name was picked out of a lottery that was sponsored by Walmart and Shopper’s World. He also said that I had won a million and a half dollars in American funds and a brand new car. He told me that he will not ask me to pay any money whatsoever.

That made me think that this was a legitimate call—that is until I began looking further into what this crook had told me.  

The head office of Walmart told me that they are not connected in anyway with Mega Millions. Further, I have never shopped at any Shopper’s World store. I initially suspected that something was fishy when the word UNKNOWN was showing up on my phone’s screen. Generally the people who have unlisted phone numbers are  deadbeats trying to hide their addresses, people who are trying to scam you out of your money and people who are calling you from their cellphones.

I called his number back (at 1-876-567-6432) and the same man answered who had called me earlier. I asked him if Mega Lottery had an office in Canada. He said that they did. He gave me an office address that is in in Langley, British Columbia. I called the police in Langley and was told by them that there is no such street in Langley.  The scammer also told me that he works out of the Mega Millions office In Las Vegas. Mega Millions which is a valid lottery has no office at all anywhere in Nevada.

This man said that there would be a representative from Mega Millions coming to my home the very next day with the certified cheque along with the new car.

The next morning I received a call from a man who said that he was the manager of the man who called me the day before. The man who called me the day before called ten minutes after his so-called manager called me. He said that he will be at my home a three in the afternoon with the cheque and a BMW-6 dark blue car.  Needless to say, he never showed up at three or any time after that hour.                                                                           

I then called 1-876-567-6432 at half-past three and a man answered the phone. He said that Mister Washington, (the man I spoke to earlier) had to return to the office to pick up some documents and that he and a lawyer would then drive to my home. He said that the new car would be on a flatbed.

He also gave me the so-called prize number (Registration number 0133800) and that my claimant number is He also told me to write down the following; Canada Winners International. He also said that his office was in Kitchener. Ontario. There is no such firm in Kitchener, Ontario.  This fool  slipped up when he gave me the same street address that the other man gave me a day earlier, the street that doesn’t exist in Langley, B.C. There is no way that the same numbered address would be in two different cities.

Mister Washington called me at ten after four to say that they have to pick up the car from the dealership and that he will call me the next morning.

Mister Washington called at ten in the following morning and he told me that he will arrive at my home between three and four in the afternoon.  

It was then that this scammer’s real motive became apparent.  He told me that I will have to pay between $700 and $900 for the delivery costs since the car will be brought to my home on a rented flatbed truck.

He had previously showed me the bait and now he was showing me the hook.

I told him not to bring the car to my home as we don’t want it. He then said that I will then be given a cheque for $80,00 instead of the car.

Now what was really interesting in my talk with him on May 17th was when he told me that my lottery prize is five million dollars in US funds. That is proof that he is a scammer because days earlier, he said that my lottery prize was one and a half million dollars including the car. This fool slipped up. He forgot that he had earlier told me that I had won a million and a half dollars.

Needless to say, no one showed up. Perhaps I scared him off when I told him that I was formerly a private investigator and that I practiced law for twenty years.  I think he originally thought that the sucker he was hoping for would bite the bait and then be reeled in but I was not a sucker but a killer whale that would grab him and gobble him up.

When I was a private investigator, I investigated a great many bank and insurance frauds and solved almost all of them so I have enough inquisitiveness in me to be extra careful when I am offered something for nothing. Alas, a great many people do not have my background and inquisitiveness so they end up being victimized by these scammers.

The strange thing about Mr. Washington's  original call was that he told me that no one would be asking for money up front and that the only thing they would ask me to do is show some form of ID to prove who I am. I told him that whoever showed up at my door, I would show that person a letter that was addressed to me by a federal minister that shows my address also.

These scammers were fishing for a sucker. Incidentally, there is a fish that is called a sucker. When this fisherman (Mr. Washington) cast his fishing line in my direction, he had a nice fat bait on the hook. It first, I didn’t see the hook. The bait was enticing however it wasn’t long before I saw the hook. (the money I would have to pay for the flatbed carrying the new car)  

When I told this crooked fisherman that I wasn’t going to pay him any money, the bait and the hook was yanked out of the water and I never heard from him again. Obviously, he is fishing elsewhere hoping to get his bait and hook into a sucker’s mouth.

These fools didn’t know that from the first day to the final day they were talking to me that I knew that they were trying to victimize me with their scam. I played them like a violin. I haven't had this much fun since the day the government ended the prohibition of alcohol.

In the morning of 19th, I received a phone call from a man (Not Mr. Washington) who told me that the car would be brought to my home on that day. I told the caller that I had been told by Mr. Washington that I would have to pay $900.00 for the delivery. The man on the phoned feigned surprise. I told him that I was convinced that the whole matter was a scam. His response was not unlike that of a dying fish at the bottom of a fisherman's pail, flopping about searching for a way out of the pail. I decided to end his misery and subsequently I hung up the phone. 

Here is what to watch for when you get a call from these scammers.

The scammers give you contradictory statements every time they talk to you.

Here is how you can spot the Mega Millions scammers.

The letter or email has poor quality and/or incorrect grammar in it.  The letter or email may be addressed to 'email holder' or 'winner' or 'reader', rather than using the victim's name.

Some mail and email scams can look authentic, as scammers illegitimately use Mega Millions branding to persuade their victims.

The victim may receive a fake blank check, which can be attached to an email or letter and the fraudster might claim that it is for 'government taxes' or 'expenses' so the victim fill it out. Now the scammers have the details of the victim’s bank account.

The correspondence sent to the victim will emphasise that they should act to claim their prize as soon as possible and urges them to keep it 'confidential'. This is to make sure that the person who received the correspondence does not seek advice from others, which may expose the scam.

The victim is asked to pay a 'processing fee' or 'tax' to be able to receive their winnings. In my case, it was the fee for the rental of the flatbed truck that would never come to my house with a new car on it.

Mega Millions scams can take five different forms:

An email is sent to the victim, letting them know that they have won a large sum of prize money and it asks them to pay 'fees' or 'taxes' if they want to receive the full prize winnings. A link to a website where prizes can be 'claimed' may also be included in the email, which could be used for 'phishing' personal information or installing spyware on the victim's computer, giving the criminal access to private information.

Similar to email scams, a mail scam will try to convince the victim that they have won a huge sum of money and that they need to mail back a portion to be able to receive the full sum.

The fraudster calls the victim to notify them that they have won a large Mega Millions prize in the hope that they will agree to paying any 'fees' or 'taxes' to release the money. Scammers often use specific area codes that look like domestic U.S. phone numbers to trick victims, including; 876 (Jamaica), 473 (Grenada) and 268 (Antigua).

Scammers may also attempt to find out the victim’s bank details in order to access their accounts illicitly.

Cell Phone
Scammers send a text message to the victim from an unknown number telling them that they have won a Mega Millions prize. To claim the prize, victims are requested to call the number back, often on a premium rate number which they will have to pay.

Social Media
The victim receives a message on their personal Facebook, Twitter or another social media platform notifying them that they have been selected to win a Mega Millions prize. They are then told to act immediately and follow a specific, often malicious, link to claim the prize.

I hope that you have found this article informative and now that I have your attention; I have some property to sell you in Florida. It is in the middle of a swamp and I can assure you that you won’t be pestered by any neighbours because there are none. 

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