Safe from Scams: International lottery

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U.S. Postal Inspectors say it continues to be one of the fastest growing schemes in the nation. (KFSN)

U.S. Postal Inspectors say it continues to be one of the fastest growing schemes in the nation.

Burt Richter was told he won $8,000,000. To collect, all he needed to do was pay a $150 fee. So, he sent a money order. "I'm a believing person but then I found out I never got the mail, I never got the money."

Richter, who emigrated from Germany, acknowledges he may have been too trusting, but he never imagined someone would go to such lengths to steal his money.

"Once Mr. Richter made contact with these individuals, they basically forward his name and his address and phone number to other mailing lists," said Ron Verst a U.S. Postal Inspector.

Richter was bombarded with solicitations, which can be a challenge for an older person not used to multiple calls and constant mail.

A warning from postal inspectors: all foreign lotteries are illegal. "If someone wants to play a lottery, they should just go down to their local convenience store where these lotteries are regulated by the state and government," said Verst.

Burt Richter learned that lesson the hard way. "I throw it in the trash, because they are good for nothing."

Postal inspectors always want to remind consumers that no legitimate lottery will ever ask for money up front.
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