Sadly, for as long as there have been lotteries, there have been lottery scams. Lottery scams are criminal operations which exist purely to dupe innocent people into either handing over cash or personal details, under the guise that they have won a large prize. Unfortunately, people will often fall for such scams, and stories are regularly heard about people losing life savings to these unscrupulous criminals. To avoid being the next victim, read this page for some tips on how to avoid getting caught out.
Ask Yourself – Did You Play?
The only way to claim a jackpot prize is to have bought a lottery ticket for the lottery in question, for the day of the draw and have all the required matching numbers on your ticket. You must also personally hold the ticket. There is no other way to win any lottery.
World Lotteries do not offer second chance prizes in any form. Scammers will often claim the prize you have won is due to a “second chance raffle”. There is no such thing. They will also often state you have been selected to win a prize from a batch of “Unclaimed Lottery Prizes.” Again, there is no such thing. Each World Lottery will have their own way of dealing with unclaimed prizes, but none will outsource prizes to third parties.
If you receive contact stating you have won a prize for a lottery you did not play, there is no way you can have won. You are advised to contact the lottery officials for that lottery from the official lottery provider and inform them of the message you have received.
But They Know My Telephone, Email or Address…
Scammers will use many methods to contact their unwitting victims, and when they send a scam out they will send it to hundreds if not thousands of potential victims at the same time. If your details have been chosen, it is entirely random and you have been unlucky, not lucky!
Scammers will contact victims through the following methods:
- Direct Mail – Where you receive a letter in the post claiming you have won a jackpot.
- Email – They will phish thousands of email accounts and send the same email shot to them.
- Telephone – You can receive an actual telephone call, from a person or a recorded message.
- Mobile Telephone – You can receive a text message sent to millions of numbers at random.
- Social Media – Scammers send “direct messages” to thousands of easily accessible social profiles.
Remember, NEVER give out personal information such as passwords to anyone, ever!
But What Do The Scammers Stand To Gain?
Scammers take two approaches. They will either explain you have “been selected” to win a prize, and then they will request a “handling fee” once you have made contact with them. This can potentially be for thousands of dollars, pounds, Euros or any other currency, and of course once you pay it over, no jackpot will appear.
The other approach they take is slyer. They will ask you for your personal details instead – including your name, address, telephone and email, and sometimes proof of identification in the form of passport or driving license numbers. With this information, they can then steal your identity and open bank accounts, borrow money or even generate passports.
What Shall I do?
To avoid getting caught out by these devious criminals, remember these golden rules:
- In order to win a jackpot for a lottery you must have bought a ticket for the draw, matched all the numbers and have the ticket in your possession.
- Lottery officials will NEVER contact you directly to inform you of a win.
- Lottery officials do not have a record of who buys tickets and do not have player contact details.
- Be logical, and stop and think! If you receive any communication, check it carefully and ask yourself, does it ring true?
If you are in any doubt, contact the lottery provider in question personally and ask them if you have won. But unless you have a winning ticket in your hand, the answer will most certainly be no.
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Page Last Updated: 11/03/2013 15:06:24