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Beware of e-mails promising money
July 06, 2006 18:39 IST
Last Updated: July 06, 2006 18:45 IST
Next time you are informed on your e-mail or phone about hitting a jackpot in an African country, either despatch it to the recycle bin or just don't read it at all.
Delhi Police has warned against these traps, saying the tempting e-mails are only a trap and these should not be responded to.
Instead of falling for the bait, treat all such fraudulent messages with disdain these deserve if you don't want to end up coughing up your own money.
The National Lotteries Board of South Africa, in association with the National Gambling Board, has issued a public warning in several countries, including India, cautioning against a host of fraudulent lottery schemes such as Golden Rand Lottery, Sunset Games SA and Junostakes that have been circulating via the Internet.
''The fraudsters operate through various fictitious companies and websites, including a fictitious and fraudulent sagcb.com, supposedly the 'official' regulator web site,'' the NGB warning said.
Several of these fraudsters claim that the regulators such as the South African Gaming Authority, World Gaming Authority and many others guarantee the prizes.
About their modus operandi, it said the fraudster may either e-mail or phone up informing you have won a first, second or third category prize, usually running into several million euros or dollars.
They then inform that you were selected through a random ballot system having 25,000 or more names.
As a next step, you are asked to complete a claim form that the transaction should be treated as confidential or the prize amount will be forfeited.
''The catch in the whole scheme is the 'Administration or Transfer fee' which is payable as cash or a moneygram to a financial service company acting as an agent on behalf of the lottery company.
The 'Administration or Transfer Fee' is normally in the region of 4000-6000 Euros or US dollars,'' it said.
The warning message said, "The National Lotteries Board, National Gambling Board of South Africa, together with the Provincial Gambling Boards countrywide wish to dissociate themselves from these various fraudulent lottery schemes and the public is accordingly warned to be vigilant against these fraudsters.'' It also clarified that 'Uthingo' is the only licensed lottery/lotto operator and it does not ask for any fee nor is any fee payable by a winner of a lottery prize in terms of any South African gambling legislation.
Barely days ago, the Delhi Police also came out with ads in newspapers asking people not to respond to e-mails from unknown persons claiming that they work for some foreign bank or in the government of a Central African country and can deposit their huge illegal funds in your account for a commission.
They also offer to buy expensive items, such as jewellery and cars.
Sometimes they declare people as sole heir to vast estates and bank accounts and even offer a job in some multinational company abroad on very attractive terms.
''Such offers are designed to extract money from you after making you believe that you will get an immense fortune, as you are asked to pay an upfront fee before the purported fortune is released,'' the ad warned.
''419, Advance Free racket and Black dollars are some of the fraudulent scams run on the Internet in order to dupe innocent people of their money and other valuables,'' it said.
Operators of such spam e-mails are hardened criminals and they invariably use the money they make on such scams to finance other illegal activities such as drug dealing and credit card frauds.