Fraudsters are constantly devising new ways to deceive public into believing that they have won prizes. Scams are usually in the form of a letter or email claiming that you, your mobile number or your email address have been “randomly selected” to win a prize. Here is How are Lottery Scams & How to Identify
First and foremost – It is NOT possible to win a prize for a lottery, raffle, sweepstakes or competition that you have not entered.
How to Identify a Lottery Scam
The format of these scams may vary but the aim is always the same – to persuade you to pay a ‘processing fee’ or ‘taxes’ in order to claim your fictitious prize or to part with personal information which may then be used for identity theft.
If you received suspicious phone call, letter or email , the following information will be helpful.
Is it a scam?
- It is not possible to win a prize for a lottery, raffle, sweepstakes or competition that you have not entered.
- To win a lottery prize, you MUST have purchased a ticket and your number selection MUST match the minimum number of balls required to win a prize.
- There are NO legitimate lotteries which offer prizes based on randomly selected mobile phone numbers or email addresses for games which individuals DID NOT ENTER.
- A legitimate lottery will not ask you to pay any kind of ‘fee’ to receive your prize.
- A legitimate lottery will not ask you to pay the ‘tax’ due on the win in advance of receiving a prize.
What to do
If you receive a letter or email which claims that you have won a prize for a lottery/raffle etc. that you have not entered, we would strongly recommend that you:
- DELETE or DESTROY the letter or email immediately.
- DO NOT open any link contained in a suspicious email.
- DO NOT respond to, or contact, the sender.
- DO NOT disclose any personal or financial information.
- DO NOT send any money.
- IF you have already responded, break off contact with the fraudster immediately.
- IF you have provided personal or financial details, alert your bank immediately.
- IF you receive a suspicious email, or believe you have been the victim of internet fraud, report it to the police.
Clues to look for
- The email is sent from a free webmail address (e.g. @hotmail.com, @yahoo.com, @gmail etc).
- The letter or email does not address you personally but instead starts with something vague like ‘Dear Winner’.
- Scam letters are often on poor quality, photocopied letterhead (although some will include a genuine business address in an attempt to provide legitimacy. The use of such addresses is not authorized and the fraudsters hope that the ‘victim’ will make contact via email or telephone rather than post).
- There is often a strict time limit to claim the ‘prize’. This is intended to put the potential victim under pressure and deter them from seeking advice or investigating the matter further.
- Confidentiality is often demanded as a ‘condition of winning’. Again, this is to deter the recipient from seeking the advice of friends or family who may be more familiar with this type of scam.
- Poor spelling, grammar and syntax are usually a good indication that the letter or email is a scam. (Lottery Scams & How to Identify)
Below is an example of one of the many emails scam in circulation. There are quite a few clues in this letter but Fraudsters / scammers are constantly devising new ways to deceive public into believing that they have won prizes.
Beware & Happy Playing. National Lottery
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