PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE
February 09, 2004
Subject: "Canadian" Lottery Scam Alert
San Francisco Police Department Fraud inspectors are alerting the public to the most recent lottery scam, this one involving a purported Canadian lottery. The victim in this case, a 90-year-old San Francisco woman, responded January 28 to a telephone caller who informed the victim that she had won $250,000 in a Canadian lottery. The caller told the victim that, in order to claim the winnings, she had to wire the caller $2970 to pay the “exemption tax.” The victim went to her bank and wired the suspect the amount.
The next day, the suspect again called the victim, telling her that she had to wire an additional $2200 “to cover the federal tax.” The caller would then come to her residence in person to give her the money. Again, the victim complied, wiring a total of $5438, including bank fees. No one came to the house to deliver the winnings.
Fraud inspectors are investigating the case to try to identify a suspect or suspects. Police advise that, if a person receives a telephone call of this nature, he or she should contact the Fraud Section, 553-1521, and also Project Colt, a public service specializing in tracking scam phone calls, 514-939-8628, if a person has received the call within two weeks. If it has been more than two weeks, the person should, in addition to calling the Fraud Section, call Phone Busters, another public service, 705-494-4008. In addition, it is recommended that the caller contact the FBI, 554-7400.
For more information, please contact:
Lieutenant Kenwade Lee