Russell Johnson, a District Attorney General, warned people not to fall for a scam that can use official names and seals to trick people into paying money.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Officials are warning people not to fall for a scam spreading in East Tennessee — the “Golden Casket Scam.”

According to Russell Johnson, the District Attorney General for the 9th District, victims usually receive a letter with a lottery entry form for the “Golden Casket Lottery” out of Australia. Victims may also get a letter saying that they won the Australian lottery with instructions on how to collect their winnings.

They usually also get a letter with an IRS header, a U.S. Presidential seal, and possibly markings from the office of Governor Bill Lee that claim victims owe money as a result of the lottery.

The last letter usually shows a breakdown of supposed payments that are due such as fees for processing and validation, a fee for “Gold Seal Stamps” and a clearance fee. These fake fees can be thousands of dollars, according to Johnson.

Someone may also call pretending to be from the Department of Revenue, saying they could help victims reduce their tax burden.

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