General in $3.5mln scam

A retired Greek army general was allegedly behind a scam where Internet users were told they had won the lottery, and which netted an international gang more than $3.5 million (2.9 million euros), police said yesterday. The Attica police electronic crimes squad said it had provided prosecutors with details of the alleged actions of the 67-year-old and a 50-year-old Nigerian man living in Cyprus. Officers said the retired general was responsible for the operations in Greece of an international ring that allegedly sent e-mails to Internet users claiming they had won up to $20 million in an international lottery. The e-mail would ask victims to pay tax (up to $100,000 or 82,750 euros) to release the winnings. After depositing the purported tax, the victims would not hear from the bank again. Authorities in the USA told Greek police that hundreds of Americans were tricked out of a total of $1.5 million (1.24 million euros). Greek officers said the gang’s bank accounts showed deposits of $3.6 million (2.97 million euros) between March and August last year.

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