Thu, Apr 07, 2011 - 8:59 am

Lotto Scams - How to Recognise and Avoid Them

4 min read

The incidence of lottery scam emails arriving in our inboxes is increasing at an alarmingly rapid rate.

A lottery scam email works by being fraudulently disguised as a legitimate email from official lottery bodies. They work by persuading the recipient to submit personal details such as bank accounts or credit cards or to part with an upfront payment in order to release a ‘winning’ lottery jackpot. They are deceptive and have caught many people out over the years and due to the nature of these scams, the instigators are often hard to catch out.

What is a lottery or sweepstakes scam?

An email from what would appear to be an international lottery organisation that arrives in your inbox advising you that you have won a jackpot prize in the form of money or other equally amazing prizes. The thing is that it will be from a lottery draw that you have not entered and most likely, never even heard of.

The problem with these types of emails and what can catch people out is that they often appear to be real and if you were diligent in the slightest and did a bit of surface research, it could appear to be legitimate because they use the real names of international lottery organisations and even use email addresses that appear to be from that organisation.

But unless you recently took a quick trip to Spain and in amongst your siesta’s and tapas you managed to buy a lottery ticket from an authorised Spanish lotteries reseller, then chances are you didn’t win the Loteria Primitivia. It would in fact, be impossible for you to have won it.

Scammers will often tell you that you need to respond quickly to minimise your risk of missing out on your win, this is to try and get people to act instantly and avoid taking time to think about their actions.

So you are to act fast in the claiming of your funds, for delays will compel us to disperse your funds, in other words, we shall divert your funds.

You may also be asked to keep your winnings private and confidential for the time being, this is to stop you from seeking proper advice or reporting them.

Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep your winning information confidential until your claims has been processed and your money Remitted to you

It is also common practice for scammers to ask you for payment upfront to enable them to release your winnings; informing you that these are to cover costs of things like insurance, government taxes, bank fees or even courier charges. They may also ask you for your bank account details so that they can transfer the winnings to you.

NEVER give your bank account details out and remember that a legitimate lottery organisation will never ask you for money to release winnings.

Winners are to cover the legal charges for the notarization of the claim form and the ! acquisition of the certificate of award not DE LOTTO.

The two most important things to remember about lottery scams are:

  1. You CAN NOT win a jackpot in a lottery draw that you did not enter.

  2. A legitimate lottery organisation will NEVER ask you to send them money before releasing your win.

Protect yourself

If you ever do find yourself in a position where you think that you are being targeted by lottery scammers here are some simple tips to make sure that you don’t fall victim to their tricks.

  • NEVER send any money or give your bank account details to any organisation that claims to be an official lottery body.

  • Do NOT open emails that seem suspicious or that are unsolicited by you. Delete them straight away if you can.

  • NEVER reply to a spam email, even to unsubscribe – this instantly tells a scammer that your email address is valid and active.

  • NEVER call a phone number that appears on a spam email.

  • Do NOT click on any links in a spam email.

The best thing to do when you are in doubt is just delete and walk away.

The old saying is almost always true;

If it looks too good to be true, chances are that it probably is.

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