In an earlier Newsletter article, my colleague David Krause pointed out common characteristics shared by most recent lottery scams:

  • The email addresses provided are free hotmail or yahoo accounts, as these are easy to set up and difficult to trace.
  • They claim you were “selected through a computer ballot system,” where “your name and email address were attached to a winning Lottery ticket.”
  • They usually mention a “claim agent,” “processing fees,” “insurance” or “bank fees”
  • You’re requested to “keep your winnings confidential until your claim has been processed and your money remitted to your account”
  • You’re warned that “any breach of confidentiality on your part will result in disqualification.”
  • You’re told that “the funds will be sent to you by a courier or security service” and that you have to pay the courier service for delivery and/or storage.

He warned that although some details of the scams change constantly, the basic message remains the same--- that you have won a sum of money in a lottery you have never entered and must now send money in order to claim it.

“From this alone you can be sure that the email cannot be from Overseas Subscribers Agents – or any other legitimate source. The service we provide to our subscribers includes entry into government lottery of their choice, monitoring and informing players of draw results, and collecting and remitting our players’ winnings to them in FULL. When you win, OSA sends your prize money as a completely free service – there are no additional costs after the initial entry fee,” Krause had written.

David also captured OSA's anti-scam message succintly : “To be safe, it’s always best to bear in mind that --- if an offer you receive sounds too good to be true – it probably is.”

If you receive scam emails from people pretending to be US... please  contact the Overseas Subscribers Agents Help Desk  immediately at or Please do not give out any personal or financial information, and most importantly, do not send out any money. To view more scam samples or find additional information, OSA’s Scamwatch site  is at: