Huntsville resident receives foreign lottery scam letter

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- If you receive a letter in the mail saying you won a lottery out of Spain... it's probably a scam.

We all hope to win a lottery one day and get thousands of dollars poured into our bank account, but some people are scheming to drain that money from your account instead.

A Huntsville resident received a letter in the mail saying they won a lottery out of Madrid and it came from "The Desk of the Vice President of the Mega Lottery Picker 2019 Draw Prize Award Department." Sound fishy to you?

Julia Cherry with the Better Business Bureau says thousands have fallen victim to these scams in the past.

"Specifically, outside of the country, you will never win anything because how would you actually play?" says Cherry. "It's illegal and you don't want to get caught up in that scheme."

If you receive a letter like this, there are a few key things to look out for. Always look for spelling and grammatical errors, so read it closely.

This specific letter says 'To enable us to proceed with your claims, this information must be kept away from the public.' If it asks you to keep it a secret... it's probably a scam.

"Other things to keep in mind is that on the letter that you receive, it may tell you that you need to call a specific number or send an email," says Cherry. "If you call a number, what they'll do is they'll try to talk you into paying right then over the phone."

Honestly, you'll probably never get that money back. The safest thing to do is throw away the letters, ignore the email, or deny the phone call. Don't be the next person to get scammed.

If you think you have received a letter, email, or phone call that could be a scam, you can call the Better Business Bureau to let them know, and ask any questions. The North Alabama BBB phone number is (256) 533-1640.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to https://www.bbb.org.

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