I'm a criminal lawyer - beware of bad omens for foreign lottery scams that can land you in jail

A legal expert reveals the warning signs lottery players should look out for to protect themselves from accidental scams.

Prosecutor Arkady Bukh is warning Americans that the letters and emails they receive about winning money at foreign gambling will be sent to jail if they are not careful.


Attorney Arkady Bukh explains that foreign lottery fraud can result in consumers losing money and being sued Getty

Read federal law prohibiting US citizens from buying or selling foreign lottery tickets, according to NYCC Criminal Defense.

"The problem is, federal law prohibits buying and selling lottery tickets," the lawyer said.

People who buy or sell lottery tickets from abroad face criminal charges and up to five years in prison.

"Suppliers and distributors can be charged with felonies, and offenders can be sentenced to up to five years in state prison," Bukh said.

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"Those who engage in lottery fraud to obtain bank account information or trick 'lottery winners' into writing checks may also face higher federal fines. The government," he said.


lottery tapes also included messages sent via phone calls, text messages, emails and even mail, Bukh said.

These messages usually inform customers that they already have lottery entries, or that they can do so if they do not have any lottery entries.

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Bukh said consumers should be aware of the four ways scammers are trying to trick them in order to prevent futility and avoid fraud.

First, Bukh said he would try to convince the "winner" to provide financial information such as bank account numbers.

Lawyers warn that the information could be used for identity theft or "fraud," rather than using it to keep money they claim to have won or something else they were promised.

Second, a lottery scammer can collect the check he receives with what he believes is the winning amount and force the customer to deposit a portion of the money.

Customer didn't know the check was fake until after the money was deposited and couldn't get a refund.

Third, and even easier, so-called lottery ticket holders can demand payment of "duties and taxes" in order to claim their "winnings".

Again, this is a real scam, based on Bukh.

The final and most controversial way for consumers to participate in foreign lottery fraud is if the scammer claims that the winner is a non-US citizen but cannot claim their prize because they are a citizen.

According to the scammers, the only hope the store has for their customers is to get their money, and the scammers tell them that if they send a check in exchange for money in the US, they can leave the money where their problem is. The rest will be sent.

"It was clear that the original check and payment was fraudulent and the victim had sent the money back which should have been returned," Bukh said.

Attorneys say avoiding responding to information about foreign lotteries fully protects consumers who could face other federal laws if caught.

"Participating in foreign currency fraud and defamation also violates numerous other federal laws, including the bank fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud laws," he said.

"Defendant may be charged with multiple crimes, any federal conviction could result in a maximum 10-year prison sentence."

See US News for details. Learn what financial advisors advise lottery winners to do to protect their money.


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