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Be wary of Internet lottery scams

Source: Sarawak Tribune
Date: December 18, 2003

Cybercrime KUCHING – The public have been advised not to fall prey to Internet lottery scams.Special officer of the Social Development and Urbanisation, Ministry, Haji Yusoff Jaafar said yesterday while browsing through the Net, he came across a few people who had been cheated and sought his help.

Urging the public not to part with their credit cards or account numbers without verifying the existence of a lottery company through the Internet, Yusoff said there were sites where they could do this Consumer Alert at http://www.ag.state.mn.us/consumer/alert/ca_122101.htm and http://www.ag.state.mn.us/consumer/alert/ca_122101.htm.

He said companies which operated such lotteries were allegedly from Canada, America, Spain and Australia.“They would tell the players they had won a huge sum of money even millions of dollars even though the players never entered the lottery contests in the first place.”Yusoff said in most cases, these companies would mail a letter to notify consumers that they had won first prize for a given amount.

Then the consumers would be asked to pay for sets of registered Supreme Secured Numbers and told they would win a prize if the numbers matched those allegedly drawn on the official Australian Lottery. The forms at times contained another letter, urging consumers to purchase other winning chances for a certain amount of money.Yusoff said once the consumers started paying through their credit cards, their cash would be withdrawn from time to time.“A few companies may be genuine but it is always good to verify before going into it blindly,” he said.Yusoff also urged those who had been cheated to go to the police for help, saying through the proper channels, these scam companies could be traced and brought to book. He said arrests had been made in western countries where suspected lottery operators formed fake companies and cheated consumers of millions of dollars.

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