Dutch Lottery Execs Comment on Alleged E-mail Scams

31 January 2002

The Dutch StateLottery and Dutch "De Lotto" are swarmed with what they've identified as lottery scams.

Here's the scenario: Someone is told through an e-mail by someone claiming to De Lotto that he or she has won almost $1.2 million dollars in a lotto-type contest in the Netherlands. The catch is that he or she is supposed to send $1,850 via Western Union to a person in the Netherlands to have a million-dollar prize sent to him or her.

Interactive Gaming News gathered five nearly identical e-mails of this nature (click here to view a sample) and discussed the matter with Tjeerd Veenstra, the president of the board of the Dutch De Lotto and member of the European State Lotteries and Toto Association Executive Committee, and Arjan van 'Veer, a jurist, author on Internet gambling and strategic developer of the Dutch StateLottery.

IGN: Did you see those alleged scams?

Tjeerd Veenstra: Yes, last year we had been confronted with those scams.

Arjan van 'Veer: Directly and indirectly we know that our company name has been used in relation with those scams.

IGN: What action can you take?

TV: We informed our legal department, trying to find out what we can do. The problem is when you report it to the police it should be reported by the persons who received the scam. In the USA and Australia this was done. Above that we have summoned the people who sent these scams to stop using our company's name. Lately they are not using our name anymore. Above that we have informed the Dutch police department of computer criminality and we gave them all the information we had. It is difficult to catch them. The telephone numbers in Amsterdam and the mentioned addresses are fake.

AvV: Whatever we could do, we have done. For us it is very tedious, but for the people involved who think that our company is involved, it is even more painful. De Lotto and the Statelottery are joining our efforts to stop this illegal behavior.

IGN: Does the Netherlands Gaming Control Board have any means of stopping them?

TV: No, it observes the matter. It is only an advising body, without executive power.

AvV: They signal it, and in one case, they have informed us on a certain scam.

IGN: The Dutch government wants to instate a new type of control board. Would that be of any help?

TV: It is the intention that the new gaming board will get executive power, so they should have that competency.

AvV: We need international agreements.

TV: It is swindle.

AvV: Or it is fraud.

IGN: Does this hurt the Dutch lottery industry?

TV: No, however, we will do whatever we can to stop this. Moreover, you are not very intelligent when you send money to those people.

Interactive Gaming News was unsuccessful in contacting the source(s) of the e-mails because the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses supplied were not operational at the time this article was written.

Rob van der Gaast has a background in sports journalism. He worked for over seven years as the head of sports for Dutch National Radio and has developed new concepts for the TV and the gambling industry. Now he operates from Istanbul as an independent gambling research analyst. He specializes in European gambling matters and in privatizations of gambling operators. Rob has contributed to IGN since Jul 09, 2001.