Here's a news release from Spokane Valley police Sgt. Dave Reagan:
A 63-year-old Spokane Valley man is out $250 after he sent a “fee” to a company that told him he had won 3.5 million dollars and a new Mercedes in a lottery.
The victim reported that he sent the money, but was called a second time and told to send an additional $350 to cover a “federal stamp to go through the IRS.” He refused to send the second payment.
The victim reported that he received news of the lottery winnings in a phone call from two men, a Mr. Washington and a Duane Moore, both of whom had Jamaican accents and said they represented Global West Moon Fruit of Las Vegas, Nevada.
The lottery scam is an ongoing fraud where victims receive word by phone call or e-mail that they are a winner and must pay a “fee” or “taxes” to collect their prize. It is unknown how many intended victims don’t fall for the scam, but enough people are duped to keep the fraud alive and well in Spokane County.
Crime Check sees recurring reports from victims who have mailed or wired money to the “lottery officials” only to see their money disappear with no prize ever received.
The easiest way to avoid becoming a victim is to ask if you have actually entered any sweepstakes or purchased any lottery tickets for the stated event. If you haven’t, you aren’t a winner - keep your money in your pocket.