Watch Out For World Lottery Scams

As long as there have been lotteries, there have been lottery scams. Whether by direct mail, telephone or email, professional teams of con artists work regularly in the business of duping innocent lottery players and even non-lottery players into thinking they have won millions on various lotteries, such as the Euromillions or the Powerball. But how can you avoid falling victim to such a scam? How do you know if you have a legitimate claim?

The first thing to remember is that no lottery website will ever send out direct emails to players telling them they have won a prize. Lottery providers will never email or telephone winners directly – the winner is responsible for contacting the lottery themselves. Also, there is only one way to win any lottery – which is to match all the relevant numbers picked and to have a valid ticket for that game. If you have not played that lottery, you cannot win that lottery. There are no ifs, buts or maybes; you must play and match all numbers to win.

So why do people fall for these lottery scams? It can be very easy, as scammers can be very convincing. They will use winning numbers from specific dates, so their information seems genuine. They often will use fake email addresses from existing sites, just like ours at, to seem more genuine. Lottery cons take many different forms, but generally follow the same pattern. Scammers will initially make first contact with a recipient (often by email), asking for personal details. Once a recipient replies (which not only confirms the email is valid but also will mean they provide their personal details), they will ask for a “small fee” to enable them to “release the funds”. Obviously there are no funds, as the lottery win is not genuine, so your “small fee”- which can often run into thousands – disappears.

The main way to avoid lottery scams is to remember the good old fashioned axiom – “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is”.

So, in case you are left in any doubt about whether you are the next victim of a lottery scam or the next winner of the Euromillions, if you receive an email confirming you are entitled to a lottery jackpot ask yourself the following:

  1. Did I play that lottery on the date in question?
  2. Do I have a ticket for the date in question with the requisite matching numbers?

If the answer to either of these questions is no, you have not won the lottery and you should report your scam either to your local police or to Trading Standards. Don’t be the next victim!

Written by Grace Mee

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Page Last Updated: 05/11/2012 11:33:05