State Police warning residents of lottery scam

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2005

A new scheme is making its rounds.

State Police are warning residents to be aware of a &uot;Million Dollar&uot; lottery hoax currently under investigation. To date, police are not aware of any victims in Suffolk, said Sgt. Sammy D. Carr, spokesman for State Police.

Within the past two weeks, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s (BCI) Chesapeake Field Office has received two calls from area residents who received solicitations for money through this scam.

Email newsletter signup

The scammers mail an official-looking letter and check that allegedly certifies the recipient is one of two international winners of the Million Dollar Lottery 2005 Draw.

According to the letter, the drawing took place March 11. Several ticket numbers are provided, and recipients are asked to contact David Smith via a toll-free number &uot;for processing and remittance of your prize to a designated account&uot; by June 18, 2005, police report. The potential victim is asked to leave a name and phone number for follow up contact.

A bogus check for more than $4,000 is also enclosed with the letter to &uot;help cover your legal fees involved in your winning,&uot; it reads. Once contact is made the recipient is directed to send a personal check for more than $2,000 to an address in British Columbia to cover the cost of processing the prize.

&uot;Fortunately, one individual that contacted us had the foresight to call the bank to confirm the validity of the check sent to him and found out the account didn’t exist,&uot; said Capt. Raymond J. Scott, BCI Division Commander, Chesapeake Field Office.

&uot;These scam artists are getting more sophisticated in their solicitations and will use legitimate bank names and insignias to falsely gain a person’s trust.&uot;

State Police advise against providing personal information or sending money to unknown sources without verifying the company or solicitor’s legitimacy.

Anyone who may have received such letters and/or has been victimized by this scam is encouraged to contact local authorities or the nearest State Police Headquarters.