That’s right; the lottery scam is so popular that it comes in different shapes and sizes.
In a common variation on the lottery scam, the recipient opens the mail to find that not only is he a winner, but there is a check enclosed with the winnings. He is instructed to deposit the check into his account and then wire a sum of money off to cover processing, taxes, or some other fee. That is the most straightforward approach.
It can also look something like this:
A retired college professor received a letter saying that he had won a significant sum of money. Curious, he called the number provided in the letter. To receive his money, he would need to pay taxes on it in Canada. Since he didn’t have enough money to cover the taxes, the caller said he could help could arrange a loan from a company in the U.S.
Sure enough, the professor received a loan check for $45,000, which he deposited. He then turned around and wired the same amount of money to the so-called lottery organization. He waited a few days, then called the contact number to find out when his winnings would be delivered. All he got was a recording saying that the number had been disconnected. The check was phony and his bank account was empty.
This fake check scam relies on the fact that when you deposit a check into your bank account, you will have access to the funds before the check officially clears. The scam perpetrator must then act quickly to have you wire the money before you discover that the check is fraudulent. As you will discover, fake checks are BIG in the scam business.