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Powerball Scammers Use Louisiana Lottery’s Name

The Louisiana (USA) Lottery has sent out a warning relating to an e-mail scam that uses the Powerball Game. The office says it has no role in this scam.

The e-mail appears legitimate to its victims, said lottery spokeswoman Kimberly Chopins. According to an anonymous survey, people were falling for the scam. According to Chopins, Powerball never asks for direct payment to collect the winning amounts. She said in news for ksla.com, her office does not ask for personal information over the phone, and certainly not money up front. The lottery office refers to a case where a person lost $3,000 in anticipation of getting millions.

The lottery office alerts recipients that these e-mails try to create a friendly overture with victims, making them feel falsely insecure. First they ask victims not to discuss their winnings with anyone. Then they ask for processing fees. They also ask the prize awardees to form a pool to claim the prize. As a matter of fact, the e-mail refers to a contest the victims never even participated in.

A number of people in the country have received similar e-mails from a company called Powerball Lottery Payments Center based in London, while the real Powerball lottery system is based in Iowa, U.S.A. A similar scam defrauded many Iowa residents who wired amounts ranging between $2,900 to $3,900 as taxes and administration fees to the phony company.

In one case a woman from northern Iowa wired $3,500 in "processing fees and taxes" to collect a lottery prize of $175,000. Another man from eastern Iowa lost $2,900 in "taxes and administration fees" in trying to collect a prize of $50,000.

Security expert advise users to ignore all types of lottery schemes and not trust an e-mail, phone call or a letter that claims to guarantee a prize. Legitimate lotteries never offer any such guarantee and do not ask players to join in prize pools. Experts also urge everyone not to pay processing fees, commissions or insurance to collect a lottery prize. For, legitimate lotteries do not require any up front payment from winners to claim a prize.

Related article: Problems of Online Cybersquatting & Brandjacking Worrying Marketers

» SPAMfighter News - 2/13/2007

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