If it sounds too good to be true . . .

Recent warnings from local RCMP about a lottery phone scam highlight the fact that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

There have been some interesting stories surrounding the Mega Millions lottery in the United States, particularly in the state of Maryland.

The jackpot was at a record $656 million.

According to reports, three people in that state had the winning ticket, two teachers and an administrative worker, and although state law doesn’t require them to reveal their identities, they said they would continue to work.

Then there is a lady by the name of Mirlande Wilson, a McDonald’s employee, who claimed to have the winning ticket but thus far, has not been able to produce it although she did claim it was stashed somewhere at her workplace.

She was apparently in a workplace lottery pool but the winner wasn’t amongst the tickets she bought with employees, which has some of her co-workers both doubting and angry.

Closer to home, there is once again word that someone is taking part in a telephone scam and attempting to bilk people, including senior citizens, of money.

The scam artists are reportedly from Jamaica and are apparently calling people and claiming they won a lottery but in order for the “winners” to claim a prize, they must send money somewhere.

Such schemes are nothing new and there have been many calls from authorities for people to be more vigilant when it comes to claims of winning the lottery but the sad thing is people continue to fall for these sorts of scams.

Winning a huge cash jackpot like Mega Millions or Lotto Max here in Canada would be nice and who couldn’t use a little more cash in the account?

However, no one should have to contribute more than the price of a lottery ticket

Having to spend anything more than that should immediately raise red flags and you should steer clear.

The world is full of get-rich-quick schemes and while it isn’t out of the question to actually strike it rich in a short period of time, the instances of that are usually fewer and far between.

But the world is also full of people that are looking to take advantage of the gullible with promises of immediate riches.

Keep in mind that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

– Karl Yu is editor of the Grand Forks Gazette.