Mail Lottery scam hits Sweetwater County
Green River, Rock Springs areas
by Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office
March 15, 2009
The latest mail lottery scam is making the rounds in Sweetwater County (Green River / Rock Springs, Wyoming areas), Sheriff Rich Haskell warned county residents recently.
"It’s the latest variation of an old theme," Haskell said. "In this version, people receive letters, supposedly from an entity calling itself 'United Trust & Finance' informing them that they’ve won $250,00 in a lottery. Enclosed is what appears to be a legitimate check made out to them for thousands of dollars, along with instructions to contact an ’accounts manager’ to ‘activate the check.’"
"The check is worthless," Haskell said. "If you call the so-called ‘accounts manager,’ you’ll be instructed to deposit the check into your account and then wire or cable funds or send a check or money order to cover ‘legal and administrative fees’ or ‘taxes.’ The strategy is for the swindlers to get their hands on your money before their phony check is rejected."
The Sheriff’s Office provided the following tips for detecting a lottery scam:
-You can’t win a genuine lottery if you haven’t entered it; in virtually all cases, you must have first purchased a ticket to enter.
-If you are holding a winning lottery ticket, it is you who must notify lottery officials - they don’t contact you.
-You never have to pay to collect winnings from a legitimate lottery. When people actually do win genuine lottery prizes, taxes are paid after they receive their winnings, not before.
Haskell said lottery scammers also use this strategy to obtain bank account and credit card numbers or other private information. He said he recommends without exception that extreme caution should be exercised when communications of this sort are received. "As always, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is."
For more information contact: Detective Dick Blust, Jr., Public Information Officer, Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, (307) 922-5294 / 350-4016, email@example.com