Scams

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The real Hustle – The Lottery Scam

Posted by Awareness

Definition: The Lottery Scam appeals to one of mankind’s basest instincts – greed. The prospect of obtaining easy money fuels everyone’s desire to play the lottery, but when a huge windfall is virtually handed to you, an investment of hundreds of your hard-earned pounds seems to be a small price to pay, especially when you believe the windfall is tens of thousands. There’s only one problem: the windfall, in the guise of a winning ticket, is a carefully crafted, computer-generated counterfeit.

The Mark: Any trusting individual sitting in a public place – especially if he has an eye for pretty girls and easy money.

The Scam: When a vivacious young lady in sexy clothes sits down with a gentleman, uninvited, and chats him up, a man may quickly think that he is having a lucky day. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth: this fetching girl is part of a team of con artists. You don’t know it yet, but your day is about to go straight downhill; you are about to become a victim of The Lottery Scam.

 

This sting involves at least two, and usually three, hustlers, and takes place in a public place like a cafe or pub. It starts with the self-introduction of a devious female con, who casually mentions to the mark that he reminds her oh-so-much of a former boyfriend. Taking an uninvited seat at the mark’s table, this striking gang member proceeds to engage the young man in light-hearted conversation, leading our mark down the dangerous path of gaining his trust and lowering his guard.

Hustler #2, in the meantime, has been surreptitiously observing the interaction from a seat safely behind the mark. When the moment is right, he texts a message to the third member of the team, whose job it is to cast the bait into the water and set the hook.

So into this seemingly innocent flirtation between the young lady and the mark walks Hustler #3. Greeting her with kisses as if they are old friends, he is introduced to the mark as a Bulgarian builder, and is invited to sit and chat. Very quickly, and with great excitement, our Bulgarian “friend” confides that he has purchased a winning lottery ticket worth £2,800! What wonderful news! But now comes the rub – and the hook is about to be set.

It seems that our Bulgarian friend has a problem with his work permit; it expired three months ago, and now, without proper ID, he won’t be able to cash the ticket. Never speaking directly to the mark, only to his female “friend”, he offers to sell her the ticket at a substantial discount. For only £1,000, she can purchase a ticket worth £2,800; a terrific, but fictitious, windfall profit. But the hook gets sunk even deeper when the Bulgarian excuses himself, leaves the table, and the female hustler telephones the Lottery Results Line to confirm that the ticket has the winning numbers. Of course they match – the gang has put much time and effort into creating this counterfeit ticket – but there’s a new twist. The ticket also contains the correct “bonus number”, making the ticket not worth £2,800, but over £120,000!

A £1,000 investment to bring back £120,000? After hearing the results for himself, and checking the winning numbers against the phony ticket, our mark has now bitten deeply into the hook.

You can guess the sad, but inevitable, conclusion. The Bulgarian returns to the table, to be told by the female hustler that she, and her new-found friend, will be back with his thousand pounds straightaway. Of course, she can only come up with 500, so the poor mark cashes out £500 of his own, thereby completing the sting as he gleefully antes up his hard-earned cash for a worthless piece of paper.

In hindsight, it’s easy to think that we would not fall for this con. Two strangers? A huge windfall profit? Not taking the ticket to an authorized lottery agent to verify its authenticity? But when greed walks in the door, very often common sense goes out the window.

The Lesson Learned: We all know the expression “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” If faced with such improbable good fortune, it would be wise to heed this old warning. Maybe, if you keep repeating it to yourself, you can talk yourself into walking away with your savings still intact.

  1. chance Said,

    how would you find the correct numbers for that day?

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