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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Lotto Scams Take San Franciscans

Posted By on Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 1:59 PM


We've written in the last week about two different convoluted lotto scams going down on the San Francisco streets. Well, they also come by phone, in a variation on the Nigerian scam.

A victim in Visitacion Valley was contacted on her landline and told she'd just won the lottery. The only thing between here and that prize were a few processing fees, actually $6,250 worth of them, payable by check to various addresses.

Police says they don't suspect the phone scams are related to the street ones, conducted by the modern-day counterparts of Boris and Natasha.

Police say not only is the person who sends the money scammed, but

often the middleman who receives the check is, too. Often, they find a

job listing online, in which they're told that an international company

needs help processing money from clients. The people who think they're

winning the lotto will send the sucker checks, who deposit

it in their own account, take a 5 to 10 percent cut as commission, and

then wire the rest onto the far-flung country. Of course, a week later,

when the victim contacts the bank about the fraud, it's the middleman

that often gets hit with ponying up the cash for the bank, says

Inspector Marty Dito of the San Francisco Police Department economic crimes unit (formerly known as the fraud unit).

Usually the police can only report these phone scams to INTERPOL, he says.


course, we're assuming if you're reading the Snitch, you're probably

savvy enough to steer clear of such deceit. But we'll put it out there


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Lauren Smiley


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