We received an email asking for help regarding quite a complicated scam that started out from a lottery “scam”.

This is what it says:

Email:  lottery playing site.  free trial.
Surprise:  You actually won!

While waiting past the promised date of cheque delivery:  A man called. Your lottery agent eloped.  Hire me to find him for you!

The criminal is caught.  Winning is deposited in a bank:  Now you need to

pay legal fee.  One third at money recovery, but only 5% initially…

Unfortunately, a relative of my friend has fallen for this scam and paid

out lots of so-called legal fee…

The relative is in so deep and won’t give up.  Can you help by sending

similar citation of this variation?  We need to convince her of this fact

it is a scam.  Oh, the lottery purportedly from Canada?  Is it legal to

have lottery agent in Canada?

Based on the comment, I guess that this is what happens:
1) Man A says you “won” a lottery.
2) Man B called from nowhere, asking you to pay him to catch Man A.
3) Man A was caught, and the money is deposited in Man B’s bank.
4) Man B is asking for “legal fees” from you to withdraw the money.

Ok, firstly, it doesn’t matter if the “lottery” is from Canada, or anywhere else on earth. There is no such thing as a legal “international lottery” where you can win thousands or millions of dollars, esp. through websites or an email.

There are some sites claiming (e.g. UK, Europe) that they can help you buy the national lottery in their country, and either keep your tickets for you, or ship the tickets to you. They also promise to give you the winnings when you win. But this was never really testified, e.g. someone winning the grand prize in the national lottery, due to the very low chances.

In this incident, we need not discuss further about Man A because he is simply a Decoy, and the one playing the “Bad Guy”. What we need to focus is the identity of Man B because he is the actual person executing the scam. Are you able to confirm that he is a member of the local police or legal authorities? If so, he should be collecting any “legal fees” from the winner.

If he isn’t anyone with the “legal rights” (e.g. police, or equivalent), there is no reason to believe him. He could be the same person (i.e. Man A) or an accomplice, trying to pretend that he understands your problem or even encountered it himself. The best thing to do first is to STOP sending anymore cash. The second thing that you might like to try is to contact the authorities in Canada. We don’t think it would be another “Nigeria” where the authorities are helpless over the 419 scams since the 90s. In Canada, if they want it, they should be able to catch these guys if you can provide all the evidence, e.g. emails (with headers), wire transfer details, etc.

And thanks for submitting this information to us.