WASHINGTON, DC (1995275) -- U.S. citizens who have sent off their checks
hoping to arrange for the transfer of funds from a foreign lottery payoff
are finding instead that their checking accounts have been plundered
without their permission.
The unauthorized demand drafts, in the amount of $299, are being sent by
one of the biggest foreign lottery promoters in Canada--IDM Corp. of New
Westminster, British Columbia and they are being honored.
Postal Inspectors say that U.S. citizens are initially contacted by a firm
called International Lottery Payout Service (ILPS), also of British
Columbia, offering to help them retrieve funds they may have already won.
For a small fee of $19.95, ILPS offers to make the necessary arrangements
for the transferring of funds between the lottery promoter and the victim's
Bank account information and authorizing signature are furnished by the
victims, but only to receive their share of the winnings. Checks are to be
made payable to IDM.
U.S. citizens are sending off their money, say Postal Inspectors, based on
promoters' statements that they are on a "winners list" with hundreds of
other players. Promoters claim the pool is to share in millions of dollars
in payoffs from various stateside and foreign lotteries. Inspectors say
this is simply not true.
Foreign lottery tickets, prizes and related information have always been
illegal when sent through the U.S. Mail. These most recent mailings,
though not offering tickets for a specific lottery, do promise to payout
lottery prizes to everyone in the "winners pool." That makes these
illegal, too. Although many of the mailings have been intercepted at the
U.S. border, many others have been delivered.
In fact, despite having intercepted and destroyed nearly 3 million foreign
lottery mailings sent illegally into the United States since June of 1994,
Inspectors warn that the foreign lottery menace is no closer to being
Postal Inspectors want U.S. citizens to know that playing foreign lotteries
has always been risky business. Now there is the danger of unauthorized
debits to the checking accounts of unsuspecting players. Inspectors
strongly advise against giving out checking account or credit card account
information to any foreign lottery representative for any reason.
Log on the WebSite at http://www.fraud.org, or call 1-800-876-7060.
If you spot obviously illegal operations on the E-Ways please
forward copies of the messages to NFIC at frau...@psinet.com.
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