FreeLotto - The Facts
Original Article by Nyla
Fraudwatchers has been receiving an inordinately high number of forum posts, emails to Support volunteers and Contact Us form submissions regarding Freelotto. We've even had some misguided people who have been spammed by this company trying to claim their win through our Contact Us form. This post will hopefully head off many of those posts, emails, submissions, and will serve as a reference post for those who do request information on this company.
Fraudwatchers is in no way affiliated with Freelotto. Fraudwatchers does not endorse, sponsor, or run any sort of lottery, sweepstakes or prize promotion. We do not recommend any online "lottery" system, period. If anyone has mentioned our name in conjunction with an online or email lottery of any kind, you can be sure that this lottery or sweepstakes is a scam.
Keep in mind that you cannot win a lottery you did not enter or without purchasing a ticket. The majority of countries (including the entire UK and the whole of North America) make it illegal for any sweepstakes or lottery to ask for an "advance fee" from you before you claim a prize. You owe taxes to the appropriate government agencies, you should never pay taxes to a lottery or sweepstakes. Most legitimate lotteries require that you be a citizen or resident in order to win, and playing foreign lotteries by mail or phone is a violation of federal law in the United States.
If you must play the lottery, purchase tickets to your local national or state lottery, in person, at a properly licensed ticket dealer. Below are some facts that you need to be aware of about Freelotto.
1. Freelotto is not completely free. Companies cannot afford to give away millions for nothing as a business plan. They do not give away millions out of the goodness of their hearts. If you are playing the "free" version, expect to be bombarded by marketing emails sent out by Freelotto's "marketing partner" PlasmaNet. PlasmaNet is widely regarded to be a company that disregards email etiquette, continuing to spam email users even after they have opted out of mailings. Some users have reported as many as 20 to 60 spam emails a day after signing up. Freelotto makes money off of you by, at the very least, subjecting you to ads for a marketer's product.
If you sign up for their subscription service (F.A.S.T), you can expect to be charged a monthly fee for the privilege.
Therefore, Freelotto is not truly free.
2. Freelotto is not a lottery. Freelotto.com (http://www.freelotto.com) is an online sweepstakes, not a lottery. They state this in their own disclaimers, such as the bottom of their Rules page.
Welcome to FreeLotto.com. We are the largest online lottery style sweepstakes site.
Therefore, Freelotto is not a lottery, either. Even the name is misleading.
3. Your "winning notification" is not a winning notification.
Did you receive an email that looked something like this?
Office of Prize Administration
TO: C. Alison, CFO
FROM: S. Roman, Prize Administrator
RE: Paid & Pending Check Release Status Notification
Pursuant to our discussion, below please find a list of
recent and pending winners as well as their respective
winning status. Note that the winners who took advantage
of the hassle-free F.A.S.T. offer had their winning checks
sent immediately following the win and status marked to
PAID. This includes our most recent $10 Million Dollar
winner - Eric Prevost from France.
FIRSTNAME LASTNAME CITY STATE OR AMOUNT STATUS
Susan Vasquez Waukegan IL $1,000,000.00 PAID
Isabelle Bradley W.Mifflin PA $10,000,000.00 PAID
Your Name Here $10,000.00 PENDING
Elaine D. Statesville NC $300.00 PENDING
Ilene Claps Boca Raton FL $10,000.00 PAID
Your Name Here $1,000,000.00 PENDING
Richard Knue Oconomowoc WI $300.00 PAID
Eric Prevost Calvados France $10,000,000.00 PAID
Joseph Lyddane Waldorf MD $10,000.00 PAID
Ginger Becker San Antonio TX $100,000.00 PAID
Your Name Here $1,000,000.00 PENDING
Timothy Dahnke Kennesaw GA $100,000.00 PAID
Jerry Mitchelson Sierra Vista AZ $300.00 PAID
Dennis S. Oak Harbor OH $100,000.00 PENDING
Bill Herriott Glasgow UK $1,000,000.00 PAID
A number of the pending winners listed above may be
qualified to receive a check in the amount specified by
verifying their PIN # on the following F.A.S.T. form, in
conjunction with submitting the winning entry in accordance
with FreeLotto rules, terms and conditions. The convenient
F.A.S.T. service guarantees that a winning check in the
amount of $1 Million will be released to its rightful
winner upon said submission in conjunction with the rules.
Congratulations! You haven't won a dime, but you have joined one of the lucky millions to be spammed by an advertisement for Freelotto's F.A.S.T. service. You've won the privilege of paying a monthly fee to continue not winning a prize, and possibly the fun of not being able to cancel the monthly billing once you decide it's a waste of money.
Try reading the fine print on this notice. Notice it says that IF you subscribe, and IF you win, you will receive a prize. True, presumably. I can also truthfully state that IF I should happen to father a set of quintuplets, and IF I follow that up by fathering a set of twins, I would be the father of seven children. Both statements are just as true. And frankly, the odds of either one of them happening are astronomical. Particularly as I am female. Your chances of winning a Freelotto prize of any great value are about as good as my chances of fathering seven children.
4. Freelotto is not technically a scam or illegal, just a waste of money.
At least, it's a waste of money in my personal opinion. No, Freelotto cannot be reported to your local police, the government, the F.B.I, the C.I.A, the C.I.D. or the I.R.S. for breaking the law. No, we cannot complain to the web host and get them shut down. If they could have been shut down, believe me, I would have done so months ago.
So far as we can determine, they do comply with the law by placing the true odds of winning, their "marketing email" requirements, and other disclaimers in their emails and on site. Generally in nearly microscopic fine print and deceptively worded paragraphs making heavy use of the words "if", "may" and "might", but they do seem to comply with the law enough to keep from being an illegal sweepstakes or lottery.
Should you feel they engage in deceptive marketing or you have been billed for service after cancellation, please report them to the FTC, the Better Business Bureau and perhaps the New York Attorney General.