First of all, it’s worth pointing out the golden rule when it comes to scams вЂ“ it’s not possible to win a Free Lottery prize if you didn’t enter a draw!
Lotteries are attractive to scammers because the huge sums of money involved can often cloud their victims’ judgement. Fraudsters will contact members of the public via phone, email, SMS or by post and claim that they have won a lottery jackpot, often asking for upfront fees for ‘processing’ or taxes in order to transfer the prize. On other occasions the recipient of the communication will be asked to provide bank details or other personal information which can then be used to facilitate identity theft.
Free-Lottery.net вЂ“ Honest, Fair and Committed to Fighting Scams
Knowledge is your greatest asset in the fight against fraudulent activity. If you know about the tricks that scammers use to siphon away money from victims, you can prevent yourself from becoming a victim as well. Here are some important things to remember:
- You can never win a lottery, raffle or sweepstake prize if you didn’t enter the competition. The only way to win a Free Lottery prize is to enter the Daily or Weekly Draws that we offer to registered participants.
- We’ll never ask you to pay an upfront fee or pay the taxes on your winnings in order to collect them. Taxes are your responsibility if you win a Free-Lottery.net prize.
- If you think you’ve won a Free Lottery prize, you’ll need to get in touch with the site in order to start the claims process. Anyone who contacts you out of the blue with news of a big lottery win is probably trying to scam you.
Common Traits of Lottery Scams
- If the communication has been sent from anything other than that lottery’s official email address then be very wary. Lotteries do not use free webmail addresses like Hotmail and Gmail to contact users. Any correspondence you receive from Free-Lottery.net will have a “@free-lottery.net” email address in the sender field..
- Often the scams require a response within a certain amount of time. This is in order to pressure victims into sending money or personal details before they have a chance to seek advice or investigate the validity of the mail. Free-Lottery.net will never ask you for money or “fees” to cover the release of any prize you might win.
- For similar reasons scammers may request confidentiality as a requirement for paying out the ‘prize’. Real lotteries like Free-Lottery.net love to celebrate their winners and give them their moment in the sun вЂ“ anyone who asks you to keep quiet about a win should be treated with suspicion.
- Fraudulent correspondence can usually be identified through the poor spelling, grammar and syntax of its content.
- Scammers are notoriously vague about how the “process” works. They always have another lie, another fee to pay and another excuse to feed their victim. Free-Lottery.net is an honest company that prides itself on ensuring that every entrant understands how our draws and prizes work.
What to Do if You Have Received a Lottery Scam
If you have received what appears to be a fraudulent text, email, letter or phone call then there are a few simple steps that you should follow:
- Don’t send money.
- Don’t follow any links or open any attachments in emails.
- Don’t respond, you’ll just encourage more scam mail.
- Don’t disclose any personal or banking details.
- Break off all contact with the scammer in question. Block the phone numbers or email addresses they use and mark all post as “return to sender”.
If you have already made contact with a suspected fraudster then break off all communication immediately and alert your bank straight away if you have passed on any financial or personal details.
Lottery Scam advice – Is this a lottery scam? Find out how to identify and protect yourself from scams online, by post, by email and via telephone.
Lottery games both in the UK and across the world have strict rules in place to ensure that they are fair and fun to play. However, there are many people out there who try and use the allure of money to set up lottery scams to divert people away from legitimate games. These fraudsters take advantage of unwitting victims who are blinded by promises of receiving a life-changing amount of cash.
The scams generally rely on persuading the recipient of a bogus email, text, letter or phone call that they have won a huge amount of cash in a lottery, which will then be transferred into their bank account on payment of вЂprocessing feesвЂ™ or вЂtaxesвЂ™. These amounts are kept by the scammers, who often request further payments, stringing the victim along. Often the fraudster asks for personal information which will then be used for the purposes of identity theft.
Responding to just one of these communications can open the door to a flood of unwanted letters, phone calls and emails trying to separate you from your money. Read this page to learn more about protecting yourself against lottery scams.
Avoiding a Lottery Scam
- If you havenвЂ™t entered a lottery, raffle, sweepstake or other competition, then you cannot win it!
- To win Lotto, EuroMillions, PeopleвЂ™s Postcode Lottery, The Health Lottery or any other lottery game, you must have bought a ticket for the correct draw date and you must match the winning numbers exactly on your ticket.
- No legitimate lottery will randomly select email addresses or mobile phone numbers to win prizes.
- Legitimate lotteries will not approach you asking you to claim a prize. You may receive an email advising you of a win and instructing you to check your online account, but it is for you to approach the lottery company in order to claim any prize that you are due.
- Legitimate lotteries will not ask for any fee or upfront payment of taxes in order to process your claim.
Clues to Identify a Scam
There are plenty of signs by which you can work out whether the lottery communication you have received is fake. Your letter, email, text or phone call may have all or some of these indicators:
- Often the message will claim to be from a legitimate company, but the email address used bears no resemblance to that company name. For instance, it may be sent from a free webmail address like Hotmail.com or Gmail.com.
- If you receive a phone call, check the number вЂ“ if it begins with +4470, it is a Personal Redirect Number, which can be used from anywhere in the world. No legitimate lottery would use this sort of phone number.
- It may not refer to you by name, but rather as вЂњDear WinnerвЂќ or something similar but still suitably vague.
- Scam letters are sometimes printed on poor quality paper, often with a photocopied letterhead. Occasionally they give the address of a legitimate business to try and trick you into believing that the win is real.
- They will often include a strict time limit on claiming the prize, as well as a confidentiality clause, in an effort to pressure the potential victim into parting with their money or bank details. It means that the recipient of the scam has less time to properly investigate the communication or seek advice.
- Scam communications often have poor grammar and spelling mistakes.
What to Do if You Receive a Scam
If you receive any form of communication informing you of a win on a lottery that you havenвЂ™t entered, then it is recommended that you:
- Do not send any money.
- Do not reply to the message, as it will only encourage the scammers to send you more emails, letters and phone calls. If you have already responded, then cut off all contact straight away.
- If you received an email, do not open any attachments or files that came with it, as they could contain malware or a virus.
- Do not disclose your private bank or personal details. If you have already provided this information, then notify your bank or building society immediately.
- Contact Action Fraud either through their website (https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/) or on 0300 123 2040 for advice on what to do next.
Methods of Scamming
These are the most common types of lottery scams. You may be initially contacted through one of these means:
- Post: You receive a letter telling you that you have won a prize, but that you need to pay a fee to process your claim before any winnings can be paid out.
- Email: Similar to the postal scam, but emails from scammers can also link back to fraudulent copies of official websites in order to seem legitimate.
- Phone: You receive a call informing you of a lottery win and, during the call, the вЂlottery officialвЂ™ will attempt to take advantage of your shock in order to obtain your bank details.
- Social Media: You receive a direct message telling you that your account has been selected for a lottery or raffle prize. You will then be asked to forward your financial details.
- Mobile: You receive an SMS informing you that your mobile phone number has been selected at random from a lottery to win a prize.
No matter how they get in touch with you, never give your personal and financial information over to a suspected lottery scammer. No legitimate, regulated lottery will ask you to pay a fee for your winnings. Just hang up, throw out the letters and delete the emails and messages.
Find out about some of the different types of lottery scams online. Learn how to avoid and identify scams and what you should do if you think you’ve received one.