Due to the recent increase in scams of the sort reported here, the workload associated with this blog has become too large. Consequently, and with apologies, I am not going to update this blog any further, indefinitely.
Lottery scam quick guide: it's a scam if...
- you win any lottery where you didn't buy a ticket! It's really that easy! It's not just too good to be true: it's bait in a trap!
- you receive a generous grant out of the blue. Sadly (but not surprisingly) there aren't any benevolent people regularly throwing around millions of pounds/dollars/euros to randomly chosen people. This is just the lottery scam without the ticket.
- they send you partial payment in the form of a cheque, money order, or direct bank transfer and want you to pay them fees out of that money. They're playing you for a sucker: cheques are frequently forged, and direct transfers made by compromising some poor schmuck's online banking service. You'll wind up a victim of fraud, or a party to it.
- they want you to send them any money of any sort for any reason. They might try to say there are courier fees or taxes to cover. They're lying. Call their bluff and tell them to take the fees out themselves -- they'll never ever agree, because they can't defraud you unless money is making the reverse trip from you to them somehow.