LANSING | Lansing police are warning residents of a lottery scam that is circulating in the area.
In the scam, a letter is sent notifying the recipient they are the "winner" of a lottery, often an international lottery. The letter will include a check, which can be used to cover the "expenses" incurred while obtaining the winnings.
A contact number will be provided and the contact person will instruct the winner to cash the check and send a certain amount to them by wire service in order to cover their processing fees.
Once the money is sent by wire, it is impossible to retrieve it, since it is treated as cash. It is also virtually impossible to determine who actually retrieved the wire.
No winnings are sent out after the "fees" are paid and the check eventually comes back as fraudulent, which banks may hold the cashing parties liable for.
Lansing police offer some tips to avoid becoming a victim of this scam:
• You cannot win a lottery you have not entered
• There is no such thing as an "email lottery" or "international lottery"
• Legitimate lotteries do not make the winner cover any types of fees or expenses
• Lotteries do not contact winners, the winner has to contact the lottery
• Never provide personal or financial information to a company that solicits you when you did not contact them first