Lottery Scammer Off The Streets – At Last

February 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Lottery News

An international lottery scam which was uncovered after 13 people around the world were defrauded out of an average of £200,000 each was finally shut down this week, after the jailing of the Nigerian gang, including one man who was a resident via marriage in the UK. London based Osas Odia, 33, acted as the money launderer for the group, and was responsible for running the immense sums of money tricked out of naïve victims through three bank accounts, before it was sent to cohorts in Nigeria. The remaining members of the gang were jailed in Nigeria.

The group sent out thousands of letters across the world, stating individuals had won millions on a fictional lottery and then targeted those that responded. They said that in order to release the winnings, individuals would have to pay out sums which ran into hundreds of thousands. Unfortunately, many people – deperate to be a lottery winner – believed these callous conmen, and duly paid over life savings, only to receive nothing.

Perhaps the saddest story is regarding Los Angeles resident, Betty McClellen, aged 62, who wired $264,000 to the fraudsters in 2010. When she got no response and no winnings, her devastated husband shot her for wasting their life savings, and then turned the gun on himself.

Odia, who had already been deported from the UK once for working illegally and who had been able to return to the country through his marriage to a British nurse, was sentenced for two years in prison on Friday, 15th February 2013 for his part in the scam. The court heard how he had also defrauded an elderly Bristolian woman out of £312,000, and how the woman now lived in sheltered accommodation and was guilt ridden and humiliated at falling for the scam. The rest of the gang were jailed for between 16 months and six years.

Although this gang is now behind bars, it is a sad fact that whilst there are lotteries, there will be lottery scams. People are reminded to be extra vigilant when reading mail, emails or receiving telephone calls from those claiming to be lottery organisers, and claiming they are the recipient of a big prize.

We at Online-Lotto advise people to remember these golden rules:

  • You can only win a lottery if you have bought a ticket for that lottery, matched all the relevant numbers on the date in question and have the ticket in your possession.
  • The winner is responsible for contacting the lottery they have won – the lottery will never contact the winner.
  • Lotteries do not ever offer “second chances” to win unclaimed funds.

So, if you receive a letter telling you there is a fortune with your name on it, ask yourself the following:

  1. Did I PAY?
  2. Did I PLAY?
  3. Will I Pay?

If the answer to the first two questions is NO, the answer to the third one will certainly be YES. Be wary, and if in doubt, check it out and contact the relevant lottery in question.