“I could see scam all over it before I even opened it,” he says.
The envelope, postmarked Lisboa (Portugal), contained greetings from the Desk of the Vice President of the Loteria La Primitiva, Int’l Pomotionals Programme. He was set to win a share of $14.8 million with participants from Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, North and South America. The drawing was done through a computer ballot system drawn from 520,000 names. (Those are better odds than a Powerball lottery.)
“I don’t know where they got my name and address,” Fox says. “I had never contacted them and of course, I did not respond to this letter.”
The letter makes it sound like there was a mixup in the drawing, and then clarifies that “your name was attached to Ticket number: 78400 ….” and there were more batch numbers, reference numbers and series numbers. And finally, there was prize claim track number — which won the lottery on the “3rd” category. (Heaven only knows what you would have to do if you were in the “1st” category.)
A dead giveaway was the use of the California Lottery logo at the top of the page — it still contained the words and trademark. In addition, the words at “official” stamp was misspelled: “La Primitiva Spanis h Sweeptake Spainsh and Portugal.”
This very complicated Foreign Lottery — nonetheless – is illegal in the United States and violates federal law. Participating in any way is illegal. The only legal lotteries in the US are state-run.
The majority of foreign lottery solicitations sent into the US don’t come from foreign governments, instead they are coming from a con-artist, which is looking to take your money and give you nothing in return.
Ask yourself: “How could I win a lottery that I never entered? Do not give personal banking information over the phone if you do not know with whom you are dealing.