Tampa Bay Informer - Clearwater Government News

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From the Desk of Sheriff Jim Coats

If you have a computer and have ever received an e-mail, you have probably also received an unsolicited offer to purchase something far below the typical retail price, or an offer to make a large sum of money with what seems like little or no risk.  The use of the old adage that “if it seems too good to be true it probably is” has never been more appropriate than to describe offers like these.

In the past I have warned you about foreign lottery scams that continue to involve the transmission of thousands of e-mails sent and received daily across the country.  As the name implies, the mailings promise a chance to win a foreign lottery, and sometimes falsely serve as a notification that the targeted victim has already won.  A processing fee or “buy-in” for these lotteries is required from the “winner” supposedly for the purchase of “lucky lottery numbers” that would be theirs for a period of 3-12 months.  In many cases the appealing offer sounds legitimate to the victim, except they are never paid after sending in their money.  Some victims have later told detectives that they were afraid to stop responding to the mailings for fear of learning that the numbers would later become winners.

Published in Clearwater