Lottery scam

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Video transcript: Lottery scam (Word, 24KB)

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How the scam works

Scammers send genuine-looking letters, emails, text messages or social media posts claiming that you have won a prize. To claim, you must first pay a 'tax' or other fee, or send your bank details. In fact, the lottery or prize does not exist. Lottery scams often use the names of legitimate overseas lotteries, so even if you search the internet, the details may seem real.

Warning signs:

  • The prize is for a lottery or sweepstakes that you did not even enter.
  • You are asked to call a number or send an email with your personal details.
  • You must send a fee or bank details to claim your prize; legitimate lotteries do not require you to pay a fee to collect winnings or prizes.
  • A full street address is not provided. Instead, a post office (PO) box number, email address or mobile phone number is provided as a contact point.
  • They claim to be legal or have government approval.

Protect yourself:

  • Never send money or bank details to claim a prize.
  • Check whether you have previously entered the lottery or prize draw.
  • Check whether an offer is legitimate by contacting the organisation directly.