A New Lotto Scam Swindles East Texans Out Of Big Bucks - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/15/04-Tyler

A New Lotto Scam Swindles East Texans Out Of Big Bucks

For months, we've been telling you about sweepstakes and lottery scams out of Canada. They ask you for cash and then promise to send you thousands, even millions of dollars. But now, a new twist on this age- old scam. The company sends you a check, and then asks for a fee. But it's still the same scam. A lesson one East Texan learned too late.

Donald Marsh loves to enter sweepstakes. He gets a lot of calls saying he's a big winner. He knows a lot of those calls are not the real deal, But recently he got fooled.

"I get a phone call one day saying they are from the Lucky Three Sweepstakes and I won a million dollars," explains Donald.

The man on the other line told Donald he would soon receive a check worth almost 10 thousand dollars. All Donald had to do was cash it, and send 6000 dollars back to pay the tax on his total winnings. When the check arrived, Donald said it looked legitimate.

"It is from GMAC insurance out of Winston Salem, North Carolina. It was issued from Wachovia Bank. Both are reputable companies," says Donald.

He deposited the check into his bank account. Two days later, he withdrew 6000 dollars. He sent that money to the sweepstakes company through Western Union, and awaited the rest of his prize money.

"Of course it never came," he says but that wasn't the end of it. The check was a counterfeit. Donald now owes his bank thousands of dollars.

"It hurt me. It took all the money I had at the bank, Now I have a bad reputation and now I don't have a checking account," explains Donald.

Donald contacted Kay Robinson with the Better Business Bureau after it happened. She says this is a common scam and that anytime someone asks for money, don't send it.

"For somebody to send you a check for almost 10 thousand dollars, when you have no business relationship with that company, that should send up a red flag," says Kay.

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