State warns of foreign lottery scams

One technique includes mailing checks to victims

The state is warning residents to be aware of recent scams involving “secret shoppers” and foreign lotteries.

The Department of Financial Institutions said the scams have been active in Wisconsin over the past several months. The agency says one of the main techniques used by the scammers is mailing unsolicited checks to victims with instructions to cash the checks and wire most of the money to an unknown location.

In the foreign lottery scam, victims are sent a check and told to wire funds to pay taxes and fees before receiving the entire prize. In the “secret shopper” scam, the victims are told to rate the service of certain retailers.

DPI said that in both cases, victims are sent counterfeit checks and are responsible for repaying the bank once the fraud is discovered.

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