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Residents Warned of Lottery Scam

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said two Chicagoland victims lost up to $90,000.

Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart is warning residents not to be fooled by scams where “winners” are told they are entitled to a large lottery cash prize without ever having purchased a ticket. 

Scammers are reaching their victims, who are often senior citizens, via telephone calls, faxes, emails and letters to tell them about their “jackpot.” Some of these letters include phony seals and certificates. To collect, however, money needs to be sent either via Western Union or cashier’s check to a foreign address to pay for additional taxes and/or handling charges. 

The scammer may also contact the victim again and mention there was a mistake on the tax calculation and more money must be sent. 

During the last six months, an 80-year-old victim lost $90,000 and a 74-year-old victim lost $82,000 in this type of scam. Both victims are from the south suburbs. 

It is believed this type of scam is prevalent all over the country. The Sheriff’s Police Department has received numerous calls about it. 

Sheriff Dart reminds the public that you cannot win a lottery without having entered it. There are no upfront fees to pay for a legitimate lottery win. The public should be suspicious if contacted by a lottery agency located in another country. If contacted by telephone, do not give any personal information such as credit card numbers or bank account numbers; hang up immediately and contact local law enforcement. 

Anyone who believes they are a victim should call their local law enforcement or Cook County Sheriff’s Police at 708-865-4896. 

Lois A. MacAdam December 28, 2012 at 11:20 PM
You'd think by now that people would be smart enough to know better. We are constantly being reminded of this type of scam. Come on, people, how could you win a contest you never entered? Nothing comes for free. Get with the program and hang up on these people. DUH!
lucas December 30, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Easy to make those comments after reading story
Puddinghead December 30, 2012 at 04:30 AM
The article noted two IL cases involving elderly people. Instead of calling these people greedy or stupid maybe we should be checking in more closely with our older family members to make sure they aren't falling prey to scammers. The elderly tend to be the intended targets of these scams.
Vicky Kujawa December 30, 2012 at 09:43 AM
I won $1,000,000 in the the Polish lottery. $1.00 a year for a million years.
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