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No Midas touch for e-mails promising to make you rich

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, July 6 (UNI) Next time you are informed on your e-mail or phone about hitting a jackpot in an African country, either despatch it to the recycle bin or just don't read it at all.

Instead of falling for the bait, treat all such fraudulent messages with disdain these deserve if you dont' want to end up coughing up your own money.

The National Lotteries Board of South Africa, in association with the National Gambling Board (NGB), has issued a public warning in several countries, including India, cautioning against a host of fraudulent lottery schemes such as Golden Rand Lottery, Sunset Games SA and Junostakes that have been circulating via the Internet.

The Delhi Police has also warned against these traps, saying the tempting e-mails are only a trap and these should not be responded to.

''The fraudsters operate through various fictitious companies and web sites, including a fictitious and fraudulent sagcb.com, supposedly the 'official' regulator web site,'' the NGB warning said.

Several of these fraudsters claim that the prizes are guaranteed by the regulators such as the South African Gaming Aithority, World Gaming Authority and many others.

About their modus operandi, it said the fraudster may either e-mail or phone up informing you have won a first, second or third category prize, usually running into several million euros or dollars.

They then inform that you were selected through a random ballot system having 25,000 or more names.

As a next step, you are asked to complete a claim form that the transaction should be treated as confidential or the prize amount will be forfeited.

''The catch in the whole scheme is the 'Administration or Transfer fee' which is payable as cash or a moneygram to a financial service company acting as an agent on behalf of the lottery company.

The 'Administration or Transfer Fee' is normally in the region of 4000-6000 Euros or US dollars,'' it said.

The warning message said: ''The National Lotteries Board, National Gambling Board of South Africa, together with the Provincial Gambling Boards countrywide wish to dissociate themselves from these various fraudulent lotter schemes and the public is accordingly warned to be vigiliant against these fraudsters.'' It also clarified that 'Uthingo' is the only licensec lottery/lotto operator and it does not ask for any fee nor is any fee payable by a winner of a lottery prize in terms of any South African gambling legislation.

Barely some days ago, the Delhi Police had also come out with ads in newspapers asking people not to respond e-mails from unknown persons claiming that they are working for some foreign bank or in the government of a Central African country, and they can deposit their huge illegal funds in your account for a commission.

They also offer to buy expensive items, such as jewellery and car, that you advertise on eBay or any other legitimate web site.

Sometimes they declare people as sole heir to vast estates and bank accounts and even offer a job in some MNC abroad on very attractive terms.

''Such offers are designed to extract money from you after making you believe that you will get an immense fortune, as you are asked to pay an upfront fee before the purported fortune is released,'' the ad warned.

''419, Advance Free racket and Black dollars are some of the fraudulent scams run on the Internet in order to dupe innocent people of their money and other valuables,'' it said.

The Delhi Police said promises made on spam mails are all false.

Operators of such spam e-mails are hardened criminals and they invariably use the money they make on such scams to finance other illegal activities such as drug dealing and credit card frauds.

UNI SKS VD BD1652

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