Thanks to Oakley Cassaboom of Colorado Springs. He knows how to smell a rat... and that's who is really behind the International Lottery Sweepstakes. Oakley was told by mail that he won 2nd prize in the Madrid, Spain drawing and had a million euros coming to him.
Sorry crooks, but Oakley wasn't born yesterday. Even though I'm sure he'd love to have the money deposited into his bank account, he knows better. Authorities tell me even though the notice comes from Europe... it's the Nigerian mafia who is behind this scam and many others. Members send out thousands of prize-winning letters... hoping for folks to call and be lured into their web.
I'm told on average, those who respond lose at least $1,500. They wire money to cover taxes and fees and never recover those funds. Others pass along their banking information only to have their accounts emptied. Authorities say the Nigerian mafia has a very active and powerful cell in Madrid and is good at remaining hidden. We can only hope they're busted like one group was four years ago. Back in 2005, 310 crooks were arrested in Malaga, Spain. That's after FBI agents and Spanish police shut down a lottery scam gang.
The best way to protect yourself is to throw away the tempting, colorful mailers and make sure your friends and family know they're truly scams. Criminals prey on those who are lonely and afraid to seek advice from others. They work best on those who are isolated. If you have any questions about a prize you've won... let me know and I'll investigate.
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