In this third and concluding part of article on Internet Lottery
scam - we have presented a checklist to help you detect bogus offer
and how these fraudsters cheated thousands of people in USA, Europe
You will find the Indian Internet lottery scam not only different
but highly innovative !
How to Detect A Bogus Lottery Offer
- Did you buy the lottery ticket or entered in a contest ?
If not and you still receive 'winning notification' - it must
be a hoax.
- The mails look very professional with liberal citing of authentic
looking numbers - reference number, serial number, agent number,
tel number, fax number, batch number etc.
- The email gives you a reference number to quote and a phone
number to call. The supposedly unique reference number is in
fact often identical in every email sent !
- There is always a 'mix-up of numbers' and you are advised
to keep 'winning information confidential until your claims
has been processed and money remitted'
- As con artists are e-mailing 'winning notifications' in thousands
or millions - the confidentiality clause makes sure you do not
hear same story from your friends and get suspicious
- In a legitimate contest you never have to pay taxes up front.
Income taxes are either deducted at source or you claim winnings
while filing your tax return
- There is never a processing fee to claim a legitimate prize.
- It should never cost anything to enter a contest - with the
exception of lottery tickets sold by state approved dealers.
Research done on this suggests that the perpetrators
are the same people who carry out the "Nigerian Scam" (please
see previous issues for details). Like Nigerian scam, you
will be asked for your bank account details and/or an advance
fee to facilitate the transfer. Either way you are likely
to be ripped off.
Internet Lottery Fraud in Various Countries
BBC News (May 9' 2002)
Lottery scam tricks Britons - 500 people have complained
in the UK
By Philippa Busby
BBC Radio Five Live
Hundreds of people in the UK have been conned out of thousands of
pounds after falling victim to a telephone fraud based in Canada,
an investigation by BBC Radio Five Live has found.
The Canadian fraudsters telephone British residents telling them
they have been entered into the Canadian National Lottery for free.
A few weeks later they call back to tell the person they have won
a huge prize, often in the region of �175,000.
They then demand several thousand pounds to pay for the tax on the
In some cases victims have lost more than �40,000. The cash is sent
but the prize does not exist.
ABC - New York
Foreign Lottery Scam Leaves Winners High And Dry, And Broke
(New York-WABC, March 18, 2002)
You would think winning the lottery would be a good thing, but if
your winning ticket is from a certain Canadian lottery, think again.
The 'game' targets the elderly, and then makes them pay up...
The Indian Scene
The lottery fraud surfaced in India in a truly innovative
form - perhaps the first Indian cyber crime .
Kola Venkata Krishna Mohan is a compulsive gambler who played cards
regularly at high stakes in various clubs in the coastal city of
During one of his gambling binge, he lost as much as Rs 30 million
He was on the look-out to make good the losses by hook or crook.
During a visit to London, he learnt about the Euro lottery and staked
some money on it in vain.
Then a bright idea crossed his mind - he invented the story that
he had won the lottery. He created a website and an email address
on the Internet with the address 'email@example.com.' His web-site
named him as the beneficiary of the 12.5 million pound Euro-lottery
A Telugu newspaper in Hyderabad received an email that a Telugu
had won the Euro lottery. The website address was given for verification.
The newspaper sent the query and got the "confirmation" since Kola
Mohan had himself created and manipulated the website.
The Telugu daily published the story and other newspapers and the
media in general followed suit. Nobody tried to verify the claim
at the genuine address of Euro-lottery.
Taken for a ride by his claim, people made a beeline to Krishna
Mohan for deposits, partnerships, donations etc. He became a celebrity
overnight and began leading a luxurious life. He purchased a posh
house and cars. He was provided gunmen by the police for his security.
Mohan collected millions of rupees from several individuals and
financiers at four to nine per cent interest per month. Some nationalised
banks also lent him money in a bid to attract the Euro deposit.
He used this money to pay interest to some creditors to retain their
confidence. To repay one loan, he took another.
However, the fraud came to light when a cheque discounted by him
with the Andhra Bank for Rs 1.73 million bounced. Mohan had pledged
with Andhra Bank the copy of a bond certificate purportedly issued
by Midland Bank, Sheffields, London stating that a term deposit
of 12.5 million was held in his name.
After the cheque bounced, Andhra Bank authorities verified the authenticity
of the bond certificate with the Midland Bank. They were shocked
to learn that the bond certificate was fake. Thereupon, on November
25, the Andhra Bank Eluru Road branch officials lodged a complaint
with Governorpet police station against Mohan for "cheating and
forgery." The police registered a case against him under sections
420, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code.
In the meantime, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu also ordered
the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department of the state
police to probe into the antecedents of Mohan who had joined the
Telugu Desam Party in May that year and even donated one million
rupees to the NTR Memorial Trust set up by the TDP.
Mohan claimed that the manager of a London-based company had collaborated
with him in realising his plans to defraud people. The police confiscated
a laptop from his possession and also seized some incriminating
- Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad
Vol: 4, Issue 01
April 03' 2003
Dr. Amit K. Chatterjee
(Amit worked in blue-chip Indian and MNCs for 15 years in various
capacities like Research and Information Analysis, Market Development,
MIS, R&D Information Systems etc. before starting his e-commerce
venture in 1997. The views expressed in this columns are of
his own. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org