DENVER – Attorney General John Suthers today issued an advisory warning consumers about foreign lottery scams. General Suthers issued the advisory after receiving an increased number of consumer inquires and complaints.
“Never send money or provide any personal information to anyone claiming to represent a foreign lottery,” said Suthers. “Not only is it against the law, consumers who lose money to these scams typically have little recourse.”
Recent scams reported to the Attorney General’s Office include letters from “Euro Lotto” informing Colorado residents that they have “emerged as one of the winners of the British International Lottery.” This scam goes on to say that their name was selected from 8 million names and addresses of individuals who previously signed up for the North American Sweepstakes.
“As scam artists refine their techniques, these scams become increasingly sophisticated and difficult to detect,” said Suthers. “Consumers should always remember that you cannot win a prize in a lottery if you have not bought a lottery ticket and you will never win a prize in a foreign lottery.”
Attorney General Suthers offered these words of caution to consumers who are considering entering a foreign lottery:
- Never give out your personal information, including credit card and Social Security numbers;
- Beware of any solicitation asking for you to fill out a prize form or “claim”;
- Never send any money to foreign lotteries, purchase tickets or deposit checks sent to you by a foreign lottery;
- If you purchase a foreign lottery ticket or fill out a prize form, your name will almost certainly end up on a list that fraudulent telemarketers buy and sell;
- If you receive a solicitation, give it to your local postmaster and submit a complaint with your local district attorney, the Attorney General’s Office and/or the Federal Trade Commission.
Consumers can submit complaints to the Attorney General’s Colorado Consumer Line by calling 1-800-222-4444 (in Colorado) or 1-800-332-2071 (out of state). A complaint form can be downloaded by visiting: http://www.ago.state.co.us/consline/complaint.pdf.