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Friday, May 15, 2009

Hong Kong Lottery Scam Ensnares San Francisco Woman

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2009 at 5:40 PM

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A 57-year-old Chinese woman picked up a Chinatown payphone in March and the voice on the line had good news. Apparently, she had won a $2 million lottery prize. To collect the money, the voice went on in Chinese, the woman would have to wire $6,000 (in taxes) to a bank account in Hong Kong. 

She did that, but her prize didn't come. Instead, during a second phone call, the woman was told that additional charges required she wire another $12,000 to collect her $2 million. She did that.

By the time May rolled around, the woman had sent $100,000 and received nothing. At that point, it seems, she decided to call the police. That's when she found out she'd been scammed. She's not the only intended victim.

On May 14, a man picked up a payphone in Chinatown and was told that if he gave his bank account information, his lottery winnings would be deposited in his account. Instead, he hung up and called the police. If it happens to you, the SFPD ask that you do the same.

SFPD Fraud Unit: 553-1521. No tax-wiring required.

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Ashley Harrell

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