Consumers across North America are contacting Integrity Links in Canada and the US to ask about the legitimacy of notices they received by mail and spam e-mail announcing that they have won substantial sums of money in a lottery.
Consumers are given a telephone number to call and then instructed to cash the certified cheques in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $9,000 in order to collect their entire award package. They were then instructed to wire the money or send their own personal cheque back to the lottery company in the same amount, to cover fees or taxes.
The names and bank account numbers of reputable and valid businesses appear on the certified cheques. These companies have advised Integrity Link that they are the victims of identity theft and that their names and account numbers are being used fraudulently in the lottery promotions.
While most of these lottery notification letters deservedly end up in the trash, there appears to be an increase in the number of people who are taking them seriously. Integrity Link receives a number of calls every week from people trying to check on the legitimacy of the company named on the cheque.
IntegrityLink cautions consumers not to allow enticing dollar signs to obstruct common sense. If you are being asked to send money or provide access to your bank account or credit card number in order to claim your winnings, contact your Integrity Link.
This is an attempt to steal your money or your identity by a person pretending to be a lottery official
If you have won a legitimate, legal lottery you do not have to pay anything to claim the prize.