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Nick-FraudExaminer
Nick-FraudExaminer, Fraud/Investigations/Financial Analysis
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 86
Experience:  Fraud Investigations
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Received 12 Anniversary promotion from Great Leap Vacation,

Customer Question

Received 12 Anniversary promotion from Great Leap Vacation, with Special Complimentary in conjunction to celebrate our 12 years of service Great Leap Vacation has sent out close to 100,000 brochures throughout Asia Pacific. We have include two complimentary scratch cards and every participant will stand a chance to win fascinating prizes from our company and sponsor William & Benjamin Holdings for sponsoring the first, second, and third prizes. We would like to wish all participants the best of luck. Yes we received 2 Scratch tickets one winning USD $180.000 they requested proof that we held the second prize ticket of USD $180000.00 we have supplied all they asked for to both Great Leap Vacation and William & Benjamine Holding they now state they need funds of $3600.00 lodgement of a black and white document , and this is what we call the letter of authorisation I can forward their request letter if required
JA: The fraud examiner will know what to do. Is there anything else the fraud examiner should be aware of?
Customer: I can supply email requesting why they need funds before they can release prize money
Submitted: 21 days ago.
Category: Fraud Examiner
Expert:  Nick-FraudExaminer replied 21 days ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am the fraud expert who will be assisting you today.

Please be patient while I prepare a response for you. I’ll be back shortly with your answer.

Expert:  Nick-FraudExaminer replied 21 days ago.

Hello again and thank you for your patience while I have done some research on your question.

I believe that this company is trying to get you to fall for what is known as the "scratch off scam". Let me explain how the scam works:

1. A company will send out brochures with scratch tickets as part of a "promotion." Each person/address receives two scratch off cards. What they don't tell you is that 1 or both of the scratch off cards you receive will always be a winner.

2. Once you scratch it off and discover one or both of your tickets is a winner, the company will give you contact details for claiming your prize.

3. The company will come up with some kind of excuse that will you have to pay fees, membership expenses, taxes or other processing charges upfront in order to claim your prize (This is the $3,600 request in your case).

4. Typically the scammers will ask you to send the money to them using Western Union, Moneygram, Visa/Mastercard Gift Cards or iTunes Gift Cards. They may also ask you to make a cash deposit in a bank account or send cash using a courier service. The scammers use these methods because the recipient of the money cannot be traced once the money has been picked up. Once you send the money using these types of services, you will never see it again.

5. No legitimate sweepstakes company will ever charge you up front to claim a prize. If you really did win a prize, the company giving it out would simply give it to you. Any processing fees or other fees would simply be deducted from your winnings. Also, for sweepstakes winnings you have the option to choose if you wanted taxes withheld up front or not. But paying taxes is not required up front, you can pay when you file your tax return at the end of the year.

6. In short, any time someone asks you to pay them so they can give you a prize, IT IS A SCAM.

I would recommend that you cease all further communication with this company and DO NOT SEND MONEY FOR ANY REASON.

It has been my pleasure to assist you today and I hope this answer has helped you. If you do have any additional questions, feel free to ask and I will be happy to answer.

If you feel I did an excellent job, bonuses are always appreciated!

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
I would you like you to view the email I received As prior to our phone conversation, I will briefly explain to you about
the Letter of Authorization.First of all, I believe a lot of countries around the world, when a huge
amount of money is leaving a country to another country, you would need a
black and white document, and this is what we call the letter of
authorization.It's because we have pre-registered the total amount of money used for
prizes to our Inland Revenue Taxation. Thus, any amount deduction are not
accepted from the prize winning and this letter of authorization will be a
proof that the prize amount we declared will be deductible from our
company's taxes at the end of the fiscal year when we submit our taxes.This is an international transaction, therefore this Letter of
Authorization is to safeguard both parties. For your end, after you've
received the amount of US$180,000 in your account, if any authority were
to question you where this money comes from, you can show them this Letter
of Authorization that these funds are coming from legal sources instead of
money laundering or illegal trading money. Its to proof legal funds from
legal sources going to you.It's also a declaration to our company that we have sent the full amount
out over to you. Even if you receive a single dollar lesser, you can take
legal actions against our company with this letter of authorization.Our management did have several discussions in regards ***** ***** case and
also the letter of authorization, but we're unable to proceed with any
transactions without this Letter of Authorization.This letter of authorization can be only obtained directly from our Hong
Kong Government Court whereby we will need to send our house lawyer down
to the court and there are conditions needed in order for the Letter of
Authorization to be issued.Basically our Hong Kong Government Court have a contract, a financial bond
in order to bind both parties, whereby they will need a legal sender and a
legal recipient participating in a security deposit of 4% of the total
amount and this must be bear by both parties in order to be bound into the
contract.Our company will bear half of the security deposit which is US$3,600 and
you yourself will need to bear US$3,600. Once our lawyer bring both of the
funds, our company's document and a proof of participation from you down
to the court. Once the court sees that both parties are participating into
this contract, they will issue the Letter of Authorization in 2 original
copies. We will have the green light to release your first transaction of
US$180,000 after the Letter Of Authorization has been issued within few
3-5 hours.Upon confirmation you have receive the funds from us, we will be
processing your refund but when you receive your refund, there will be a
US$100 deduction for stamping fee, so you will only get US$3,500 within
24-48 hours from the court.On behalf of our company, we do apologize whereby we will need you to bear
this security deposit upfront. It is because, if you're aware of this,
previously all the major prizes were reserved for our regular clients, and
they will need to participate in this security deposit as well, but under
the client's authority, we can deduct their part of the secure deposit
from the investment account and print a statement to prove that they are
participating in this.Hope this will help explain to you clearly about what we're facing.If you manage to organize the funds and wish to proceed, please do let me
know in advance as I will need to arrange our company's accountant and our
house lawyer to head down to the Hong Kong Government Court to obtain the
Letter Of Authorization as well as to check the availability of the court
for you.Don't forget to be discreet in regards ***** ***** matter due to your unique
situation being a non-client in receiving the 2nd prize especially if us
have sign the agreement. We don't want any regular clients find out about
this.Warm Regards,
***** *****
Operation Manager
Expert:  Nick-FraudExaminer replied 21 days ago.

Hello again yes I have seen many letters like this before but it does not change the bot***** *****ne. No legitimate sweepstakes company will ever charge you up front to claim your prize. If you really did win a prize, the company giving it out would simply give it to you. Any processing fees, or other fees would simply be deducted from your winnings. There is no reason you need to pay $3,600 as a security deposit to claim your prize.

Additionally there is no such thing as a legitimate international lottery or sweepstakes. They are all unlawful because of variations in law among countries, which make them impossible. You would NEVER have to deal with Hong Kong to win an sweepstakes in Australia.

My recommendation here is to walk away. If you send the $3,600 you will not see it again.

It has been my pleasure to assist you today and I hope this answer has helped you. If you do have any additional questions, feel free to ask and I will be happy to answer.

If you feel I did an excellent job, bonuses are always appreciated!

Expert:  Nick-FraudExaminer replied 20 days ago.

Hello again, I noticed you were able to view the answer I prepared for you. Do you need any further information or clarification?

If so, please reply here on this question thread.

My main goal is to make sure that you are fully satisfied with your answer. I look forward to hearing from you.