Prize Notification and Lotteries by Mail
In this scam a person is notified by mail that he or she has won a prize and told to send the contest or lottery sponsor a signed release form and money to cover various expenses before the prize can be awarded. You lose not only the money but provide the scammer with information for use in stealing your identity and committing various other financial crimes. Never respond to such a notice. Prize winners don’t have to pay a fee or taxes up front. But do report the scam to U.S. Postal Inspector at (877) 876-2455.
In the case of lotteries, it is a federal crime to participate in a foreign lottery by mail, i.e., to send solicitations or payments for tickets. Most all foreign lottery solicitations sent by mail to U.S. addresses come from scam artists. Discard any you might receive. You can’t win no matter what they say.