The Fastest Growing Foreign Lottery Scheme And How You Can Avoid Getting Ripped Off

A letter told Burt Richter he had won $10,000,000, but had to pay $150 to get his win.

Watch out for a letter that awards you a large lottery prize. U.S. Postal Inspectors say this foreign lottery scam continues to be one of the fastest growing schemes in the nation.

Burt Richter was told he won $10,000,000. To collect, all he needed to do was pay a $150 fee.

The $10 million lottery letter that Burt thought was real. PHOTO: ABC30

So, he sent a money order. He told ABC30: "I'm a believing person but then I found out I never got the mail, I never got the money."

Burt talks about his loss to ABC30.

Richter, who emigrated from Germany, acknowledges he may have been too trusting, but he never imagined someone would go to such lengths to steal his money.

"Once Mr. Richter made contact with these individuals, they basically forward his name and his address and phone number to other mailing lists," said Ron Verst, a U.S. Postal Inspector.

U.S. Postal Inspector Ron Verst advises what to do if you receive a winning letter.

Richter was bombarded with solicitations, which can be a challenge for an older person not used to multiple calls and constant mail.

Postal inspectors always want to remind consumers that no legitimate lottery will ever ask for money up front.

This advice from Postal Inspector Verst: "If someone wants to play a lottery, they should just go down to their local convenience store where these lotteries are regulated by the state and government."

Burt Richter learned that lesson the hard way. "I throw it in the trash, because they are good for nothing."

Watch the full story on the scheme:

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