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Foreign Lottery Scams

Play a Foreign Lottery and You're Guaranteed to Lose!

If you've ever thought about buying that foreign lottery ticket and winning millions of dollars, think again. It's illegal to play foreign lotteries in the United States. But the best reason not to play a foreign lottery through the mail is that you are pretty much guaranteed to lose. And once you play, you'll be put on a list and you can count on receiving more "chances" to play — and lose.

Don't play!

  • It's illegal. A federal statute prohibits mailing lottery tickets, advertisements, or payments to purchase tickets in a foreign lottery.
  • It's impractical. Unlike playing in your state's lottery, many foreign lottery agents take your money and don't even buy the tickets.
  • It's a losing proposition. Some scammers will tell you you've won and try to charge you a fee to collect nonexistent winnings.
  • Don't give out personal or financial information to anyone over the Internet or phone who tells you you've won — but need to pay taxes or a fee to collect your winnings.

Be aware. Be smart. Don't take a chance on a foreign lottery.

For more information on foreign lotteries and to watch free videos, go to https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/pressroom/videos.aspx.

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