Aug. 28, 2013 – Just north of San Francisco, in Marin County, Calif., people have been receiving strange phone calls from the FBI informing them they’ve been scammed out of a big lottery win.
That’s right, a lottery scam that tells people up-front they’re being scammed. Hoping to gain their trust by impersonating an FBI agent, the scam artist asked at least two area residents to wire him money in order to secure their winnings.
Those two potential victims were not convinced, and reported the phone call to the Marin County Sheriff. The Sheriff’s office said that the scammer told both that he’d been working on a lottery fraud investigation with the Marin County Sheriff’s office.
According to a release from the Sheriff’s office, the caller used the name of an actual official working in the Marin County Sheriff’s Office to make the claims seem more legitimate.
However, according to the Sheriff’s office, the bank account the supposed FBI agent wanted his victims to wire money into was an international account, and no law enforcement official OR lottery official will ever ask you to pay a fee to secure your winnings.
The only time you pay for lottery winnings is when you buy a ticket.
Though this scammer was impersonating a law enforcement official, many scams pose as lottery officials calling to tell their victims they’ve won a prize – which in reality doesn’t exist.
Always remember that the lottery will not contact you to tell you you’ve won a prize unless you enter into a promotion or other type of contest yourself. Never give out personal information to unsolicited callers, and if you suspect you’re being targeted by a scam, contact local law enforcement to with your report.