Lottery scam artists are constantly looking for new victims. Their promises of big prizes or large financial gifts successfully hook in a startling number of people and are highly lucrative for the rogues involved.
The magnitude of the problem is highlighted in a recent report by the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The figures reveal American citizens were defrauded out of $39 million in 2013.
A large number of lottery scams originate in Jamaica. Justin Felice, head of Jamaica's Financial Investigation Division (FID), believes many people are insufficiently aware of the scale of the problem.
"We know of one victim who has sent in excess of $1 million," Felice said, but he could not put an exact figure on the total amount of money involved because many victims feel too ashamed to report thefts to the authorities.
The estimated amount is generally believed to be around $500 million.
Lottery scams are in operation all over the world and whenever the name of a big winner is announced a fresh scam is often quick to follow.
In March 2014, UK car mechanic, Neil Trotter, won a EuroMillions prize of £108 million. In a matter of days unscrupulous scammers were using his name to try and trick people into paying advance fees and sharing their personal details.