Top Ten Scams of 2015 as reported to BBB Scam Tracker. Typically, targets of a lottery scam are asked to pay “taxes” or other fees upfront before they can claim their “winnings,” the release said. Of course, once they make the payment (or several payments), the big prize never materializes and the scammers are nowhere to be found. In another variation, the target receives a congratulatory letter in the mail informing them of the big win. Included is a check to cover the taxes on the winnings. Victims are instructed to deposit it into their bank account and then send the money to a third party, usually by wire transfer or prepaid debit card, which are largely untraceable. The lottery check is a fake that bounces and the victim is out the money.