Scores Fleeced by Bogus Lotto Scam
05 Jan 2007
Bogus lottery schemers have targeted Trinidad and Tobago, fleecing scores of people out of their hard earned cash in the weeks before Christmas.
The scam, which has attracted a number of Trinidadians eager to make a fast buck, required participants to call a telephone number in London. They were then directed to send thousands of dollars in order to access a million dollar prize in a “European lottery”.
One man, 25-year-old Barry Ramsook, did odd jobs and was saving money to build a house, and said he received a letter from what was described as the “Australia lottery board” which said he had won US$1 million in a lottery.
However, in order to access the winnings, he was told he had to send off TT$6,000 (£600) to tie up loose ends.
He contacted a London-based telephone number and spoke to a man who identified himself as John Edwards, and was asked to fax a copy of his identification card to a number in London.
Ramsook said he started paying money in August and on one occasion the man who said his name was Edwards told him to call the board’s office in London, as soon as he sent the money. When he called, Ramsook was told to fax his identification card to a given number and he did.
“Then I waited for the million-dollar cheque,” he said. Some days later, Ramsook said, ‘Edwards’ called again. This time ‘Edwards said he was at Heathrow Airport, London and needed another $1,000 to complete the clearing process of a package he had to send for him.
“I told him that he should take out the $1,000 from the million and then send me the rest, but he said the cheque was already made and he had other commitments with his family. I told him I did not have any more money to send. I never hear from him again,” said Ramsook.
Australian high commissioner in Trinidad John Michell warned: “There is nothing in Australia by the name of Australian lottery. It is all just a scam to spoil Australia’s good name.”
Editors Note ...
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