Lottery scams have become increasingly common as fraudsters try to con innocent victims out of their money by convincing them they have won a prize. In reality, this prize does not exist, but the thought of a win can be enough to make people give up personal or financial information. Find out exactly what to look for and how to avoid becoming a victim of a lottery scam.
How to Identify a Lottery Scam
- If you have not entered the draw mentioned in the email or letter, you cannot win a prize. If you have been informed otherwise, you are being scammed.
- You cannot win a Svenska Lotto prize, or any other major lottery prize, based on randomly selected phone numbers or email addresses.
- You will never have to pay any type of ‘fee’ to receive your winnings, an official lottery provider will never ask you to pay a processing fee or request funds to release your prize.
Clues to Identifying a Scam
Below is a list of typical things that may appear in a lottery scam:
- Poor grammar, spelling and syntax are usually the main indicator of a scam. There will be no typing errors in official correspondence from lottery providers.
- Scam letters and emails are often poor quality, images can be distorted, letterheads photocopied. Not all scammers will be using low quality images as they are constantly improving to seem more legitimate.
- If the fraudster is giving you a short time period to claim your prize, this is often a good indication that it is a scam. This is a tactic used to rush you into making a quick decision before having time to think about it.
- Are you being told to keep your win a secret? This is another common sign that you are being scammed.
Types of Lottery Scams
- Email – Fraudulent emails are the most common form used for lottery scams. The email can often look genuine and be filled with images and links relating to the lottery mentioned.
- Phone – Some fraudsters use telephone calls to scam their victims. This may be a phone call congratulating you on your win and asking you to pay a fee to release your prize. It may also be encouraging you to buy lottery tickets.
- Mobile – Text message scams often state that your mobile number was entered into a raffle and has been chosen at random to win a prize.
- Social Media – This is becoming a more common method of scamming. You may receive a direct message asking for you to provide personal/financial information or click a link.
- Direct Mail – You may also receive a letter through the post informing you that you have won a lottery prize and need to register with them in order to claim your winnings.
If you believe you have been targeted by any of the scams mentioned above, here is a list of things to remember:
- Do not reply to the email, text message or letter - if you have already responded, break off all contact immediately
- Do not click any suspicious or unfamiliar links
- Do not send any money to the fraudster
- Do not disclose any personal or financial information - if you have provided any of this information, or sent money, contact your bank immediately