Dutch lottery prize fraud - scams from The Netherlands

Recently there is a substantial increase in lottery prize fraud. Millions of letters and emails are sent to people stating that they have won a large lottery prize. The recipients are asked to send a fee to an address, usually in The Netherlands, to secure their prize.

The letters often refer to attorneys and include certificates and other material to give the feeling of credibility and realism.

Victims are often requested to travel to The Netherlands to collect the money, where they unknowingly face further risk from fraud, even possible intimidation. Of course, the prize never materializes.

Lottery prize fraud begins with an email claiming the recipient has won a lottery, often a Dutch lottery.br /> They are to contact a claims agent in order to collect their winnings, usually at a free email address.
The organization behind the fraud operates under different names, often derived from well known lotteries, for example:

  • Lucky Day Lottery
  • De Lotto Netherlands
  • Interlotto, and
  • Global Trust Lottery.

The unsuspecting recipients then contact the claims agent who sends a claim form to "verify their true identity".
They must return the form with personal details along with copies of their passport and driver’s license. This is where the scam begins; the fraudsters now have enough information for "Identity Theft".

But it doesn’t stop there. When you have given your personal details, then three options on how to collect your "winnings" are presented:

  • you can have the money wired to your bank account; Most people want their winnings transferred into their bank account. This involves upfront fees for purported taxes, insurance or even legal fees; in most cases you are requested to transfer money via Western Union
  • if you do not want to pay upfront fees, you can open an online account with a bank specified by the fraudsters (which bank, of course, is bogus); You are then informed that the "policy" of that bank requires a deposit of around 4,000 Euro; or
  • you can pick up your winnings personally (normally from Amsterdam, The Netherlands); When you arrive in Amsterdam you are required to pay a "release fee" in cash, only to receive your "winnings" in counterfeit currency.

What to do?

Cease all communication with the fraudsters
We advise against any communications with fraudsters who run these scams.
Do not respond at all.
If you already have, cease all communication immediately.

Report the fraud

Blenheim would advise you to report any fraud.
You could consider forwarding the information that you have to the Dutch authorities or your local authorities. They may not investigate your particular complaint, but they may in any case use it to improve their statistics on the extent of the problem. The Dutch police receives so many reports of this nature that in many cases they do not send confirmation of receipt.
Dutch authorities to report to:

  • the Dutch National Fraud bureau of the Financial Crimes unit of the Dutch National Bureau of Investigation (in Dutch: Dienst Nationale Recherche Informatie Landelijk Bureau Fraude) is investigating these fraud practices; its address is:

    KLPD, Financial Crimes Unit
    postbox 3016
    2700 KX Zoetermeer
    The Netherlands
    Phone : +31- 79- 3458 900
    Fax : +31- 79 -3458792
    e-mail: voorlichting@klpd.politie.nl

  • the Amsterdam police:
    Police Amsterdam-Amstelland Department of Economic and Financial Crimes
    e-mail: financiele-expertise@amsterdam.politie.nl.

  • US authorities:
    the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC), which is an organization co-sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). The Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) was established as a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) to serve as a means to receive Internet related criminal complaints, research, develop and refer the criminal complaints to law enforcement agencies for any investigation they deem to be appropriate. The IFCC was intended, and continues to emphasize serving the broader law enforcement community, to include federal, as well as state and local agencies, which are combating Internet crime and in many cases participating in Cyber Crime Task Forces. Complaints can be filed via the IFCC web site. When processed, these complaints may be referred to law enforcement/regulatory agencies for possible investigation. Any investigation opened on complaints filed on the IFCC web site is opened at the discretion of the law enforcement/regulatory agency receiving the complaint information the FBI through its web site https://tips.fbi.gov/ or http://www.fbi.gov/contact/legat/legat.htm.

  • UK authorities:
    NCIS (National Crime Intelligence Service), the UK organization that is collecting information on all advance fee scams; the NCIS will not accept reports from the public. Letters or printouts of emails (including headers) can be handed in to your local police with a request that they are passed on to NCIS. London residents can forward emails to fraud.alert@met.police.uk.

If you have given personal details:

The fraudsters are trying to get enough information to commit identity theft.
They will request information such as personal contact details, address, workplace, and next of kin details.
They will also request copies of passports and drivers licenses.
When they have this information, they are then able to commit Identity Theft using all the personal information obtained.

If they only have your email address and telephone number, then most likely you are not at risk.
If you have provided a majority of the above information, then you are at risk of becoming a victim of Identity Theft.

If you have lost money:

If you have already given money to these fraudsters for any reason, there is not much chance of recovery.

In most cases, Blenheim is unable to recover money paid to these fraudsters. Once the fraudsters have your cash, even if they are caught and prosecuted, your money is gone. Because of the methods used by these swindlers (Internet, mobile telephone numbers, fake addresses and names, bank accounts which only exist for a matter of days), in most cases it is extremely difficult to track down the perpetrators and recover the victims’ money.

LAW - associated firm

Together with a number of international law firms outside
The Netherlands, Blenheim is member of Lawyers Associated Worldwide.

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