PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE
March 1,, 2004
Subject: "Canadian" Lottery Scam Update
San Francisco Police Department Fraud inspectors are alerting the public to at least two new reported cases of a lottery scam involving a purported Canadian lottery. In an earlier case, occurring on January 28, a telephone caller informed the victim that she had won $250,000 in a Canadian lottery, but in order to claim the winnings the victim had to wire money totaling over $5400 in “exemption” and “federal” taxes. The victim complied, but the “winnings” were never delivered to her residence as promised. The new cases also involve an announcement in the mail with instructions to call, and these cases have also resulted in losses to the victims. The victims have all been elderly, indicating that the suspects deliberately target a certain age group.
Fraud inspectors are investigating all of these cases to try to identify a suspect or suspects. Police advise that, if a person receives a telephone call purportedly from a representative of a Canadian lottery, or who receives a mailing to this effect, should contact the Fraud Section, 553-1521, and also Project Colt, 514-939-8628, a public service specializing in tracking scam phone calls if the intended victim has received the call within two weeks.
If it has been more than two weeks since the person received the call, the person should call Phone Busters, another public service, at 705-494-4008, in addition to calling the Fraud Section. The intended victim is also advised to call the FBI, 554-7400.
For more information, please contact:
Lieutenant Kenwade Lee