Mom Knows Best When It Comes To Lottery Letters
Help Me Hank: Mom Knows Best When It Comes To Lottery Letters
Nicole Bradley may be the nicest 13-year-old you could meet, not only because she is an avid reader, not because she is devoted to her baby sister, not because she watches football with her dad, and not because she has an ultra cool mom.
What makes Nicole so special?
A few weeks ago a letter addressed to her arrived in the family mailbox, and as Nicole knows, mom knows best.
"It said personal and confidential, so of course I opened it," Nicole’s mother Lori Bradley said.
Inside was not only a letter saying that Nicole had won something called the BC’s lottery for $500,000, but also a check for $4,800.
"It looks authentic," Bradley said.
Nicole was extremely excited. She had never even seen a check for $4,800 made out to her before.
The letter demanded she should "keep this award secret," but that is the last thing Nicole’s savvy mom would do.
"I definitely decided to send you an email and see if you could help me investigate it," Bradley said.
The secret service has told us before ‘lotteries’ like these are totally fake and checks like these are certainly counterfeit.
"There are hundreds of millions of dollars lost to these schemes," Secret Service agent Tim Buckley said.
That’s because Nicole would be asked to cash the check and send most of the money back to the so-called lottery for ‘legal fees.’
The problem is, cash a counterfeit check – like those collected by consumer investigators – and you are responsible to pay back the money.
"Unfortunately, you’re the one who’s going to be left holding the bag," Susan Grant of the National Consumers League said.
And that’s why Nicole’s mom called us.
"I needed to make sure we could get the message out there that this isn’t real and you shouldn't fall for it," Bradley said.
And remember we said Nicole was the nicest 13-year-old? Here’s why:
When she thought she had won big, did she think woo-hoo - iPods and concert tickets for all my pals?
No way. She thought about Southern Asia.
"I realized I was a fortunate girl and that the people less fortunate living where the tsunami is and I would rather give it to them instead of saving it for myself," Nicole said.
Now Nicole won’t be giving away money, but she still gets to offer some help about these checks to those who need it.
"It’s a nice dream, but its not real," Nicole said.
No matter how convincing the letter is, or how authentic looking the check, it’s important to remember that foreign lottery letters like hers are always fake.