A new lottery scam is making its way around town, as one of Miami's city employees received a letter last week announcing she had won a lottery.
The letter explained that the lottery was made possible by North American sponsors as part of an Amsterdam, Netherlands, promotional program. The recipient of the letter was promised winnings in the amount of $125,000.
Enclosed was a check made payable by a St. Louis, Mo., financial institute from Fastrans Logistics, a St. Louis-based business. The check was for $1,998. The recipient of the check was instructed to deposit the check to help pay taxes on the total winnings as soon as they arrived.
The recipient was also instructed to contact an international claims agent to proceed with the remittance of the remaining lottery winnings.
“Basically, when you call they want your account information so they can deposit the balance of the lottery winnings into your account,” Detective Steve Johnston said.
Johnston said this is one of many scams people use to gain access to someone's finances.
“If you receive a letter in the mail or a phone call saying you've won something it is probably a scam,” Johnston said. “Throw the letter away or hang up the phone.”
Johnston said he has received numerous reports from Miami residents who have been scammed by various phony lottery companies.
Representatives of Fastrans Logistics, a legitimate transport company, say they are aware of the scam but refuse to comment with regard to their involvement.
Authorities remind residents to disregard letters or phone calls when someone is asking for personal information such as bank account numbers, credit card information or Social Security numbers.