(Columbia) July 11, 2005 - There's a lottery check scam targeting people in South Carolina.
Some people have received notification of "lottery winnings" in the mail. The letters claim you've won thousands of dollars and they even enclose a check for part of the payment.
The victim is told to deposit or cash the check, wire the funds to the company and provide an account number so they can direct deposit the entire payment.
After the victim wires the cash, the bank discovers that the checks are bogus and then holds the victim liable for the counterfeit check. Of course, the "winnings" are never deposited and in some cases the "lottery company" drains your bank account.
Don't be a victim. Remember that international lotteries are illegal in the US. Legitimate lotteries never require up-front payment to receive winnings. You should also beware of "winnings" from sweepstakes that you never entered.