During the holiday season in 2008, Jeani received notification that she had won a lottery in Russia. This notification was through postal mail, and included a $6,000 check.
The scam offered Jeani $25,000 in exchange for her cashing the $6,000 check and returning the money via Western Union within 24 hours.
Luckily Jeani suspected this was a scam. Continue on to read the rest of her story...
Before this happened I did not ever hear of a 419 scam or advance fee fraud. This opened my eyes up to the fraud world.
The scam was set up with a $6,000 check that we were to cash and then send them the money back but the way they did it is they gave it a 24 hour limit for you to send the money back so that you wouldnt have time for your bank to make sure the check was good or bad then you would be out the money because you would of had sent them the $6,000 through Western Union and then the check would come back bad and you would owe the money back to your bank.
The scammer wanted the full $6000 sent back to them and once they got the money from you they would release $25000 to you.
I had a feeling it was a scam and did not send them anything.Jeani was contacted by Law Enforcement, and helped them to located the scammers, based upon the phone numbers and addresses provided to her.
I was leary of this scam from the beginning and did not give them any information at all.
She was one of the lucky ones. Lottery scams like this one have taken thousands from their victims, sometimes even resulting in their kidnapping and possible murder.
When asked what advice to give others to help raise awareness, Jeani provided an excellent response:
Anything that seems to good to be true is. You should never have to pay any monies to claim any lottery and if they are out of this country it is a scam.
[Editor's note: While most of these scams are based overseas in Russia and Nigeria, not all scams originate out of the country.]
Jeani, thank you for sharing your story to help others be aware of these types of scams!