Islander Ed Mullins brought to the Reporter’s attention the latest variation on the lottery scam.
Mr. Mullins received a letter purportedly from the National Lottery in Spain advising that the recipient has won the “Mega Lottery,” and contained directions to proceed to collect $2.5 million.
The letter has official looking stamps, including one supposedly from the U.S. Government, but it’s as fake as the countless others that try to separate the gullible from their hard-earned savings.
Shelter Island Police Chief Jim Read said his agency is often contacted by Islanders wondering if such letters — or texts, emails and phone calls — should be taken seriously.
“The Police Department is aware of many scams trying to get the personal information and ultimately money from our residents,” Chief Read said. “In most cases, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.”
The police warn residents not to provide personal information or send money to any person or business who randomly calls you or initiates the contact via phone or mail.
“Far too often people are being scammed for money by persons reporting to be the IRS, PSEG, Publishers Clearing House, and Microsoft to name just a few,” Chief Read said. “Please contact the police department so we can help you determine the validity and authenticity of mailings, phone calls and other attempts to unlawfully take your money.”