Don't get excited if you get a letter from Portugal. It's probably the same one that a Colorado Springs woman received... telling her she had won more than $800,000 in the Spanish Lottery.
The Euromillones Loteria International says yes... your ticket was chosen in the Spanish Sweepstakes Lottery. It was supposedly held on March 10, 2011. You're told you will receive $815,960 if you respond right away.
Don't bother. A google search shows the same letter ... with the date changed... was circulated 5 years ago! The winning amount then was exactly the same, $815,960! Wow, what a coincidence!
The letter goes on to say ... your prize money must be claimed right away or the funds will be marked as "unclaimed" and go to the Economic Ministry.
Of course, you're told to keep this all a big secret. That's so you don't tell anyone who can talk you out of it.
The crooks want you to wire them a 10% fee... before you can collect your prize. That's a big chunk of money to come up with, $81,596. The I.R.S. will tell you such winnings are reportable, but you never have to pay upfront before you collect your prize.
Spanish authorities say they don't tax any of their prizes. They stipulate winner must be from Spain and must have purchased their tickets there.
In the past, such scam artists were also looking to steal your identity. Don't give them any personal information. Toss this one in the trash.
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