It’s tempting. They might even get you with it. An online lottery scam is a nicely wrapped package, all the lovely bows and wrappings on the outside – but nothing in the box. It’s all in the wrapping and there’s nothing more. What’s worse, you’ll end up losing out in these situations.
The typical online lottery scam starts with a congratulatory email or message saying you’ve won the lottery. You’re lured in with the promise that you’ve won big money. And then they start to pull the string…you’re asked to fork over cash in order to receive your prize. There are any number of reasons thrown at you as to why you need to shell out to receive your prize: to transfer the funds, money transfer commissions, opening a bank account, you name it – they use it as an excuse.
The poor “winner” thinks – “hey, that’s not so bad and is nothing compared to the money I’ve won” and sends off a check with the hope of claiming the prize money. Then, the supposed lottery company disappears into thin air, along with your cash.
So, what’s to be done? Protect yourself. Learn how to recognize fraudulent lottery scams. There are usually some telltale signs:
You haven’t bought a ticket The first sign that can pretty much guarantee you that you’ve been scammed is if you haven’t bought any lottery tickets. If you have bought a ticket, then you can expect the information you receive to include details such as your ticket number, your name and the name of the lottery company. If this isn’t the case, it’s better to be safe than sorry and double check the information before releasing any of your personal details.
Bad grammar Many scammers use poor grammar. Sometimes it’s the result of use of online translation systems – those who make these fraudulent systems often look to take advantage of people outside their own home country. Thus, they use translation systems to write messages in their targets’ native languages.
It’s from a gmail account If the email comes from a public mail server account such as yahoo, gmail, etc. it’s a sure sign that the message is a scam. If it were a real lottery company, they would have their own server and separate email address. So beware and check the sender’s address.
Reply to… If you’re asked to reply to a different account under the guise that it is a manager or other such position, it’s a sign that there’s a fraud going on. This sort of tactic is often used among bands of fraudulent lottery schemes.
Your _____ was selected… If it says that your address, account, etc. was selected as a winner, beware. You haven’t used them to participate in a lottery, so why would it win?
Finally, beware if the lottery appears to be from a big named company or from a different company. Always err on the side of caution and when in doubt, look up the alleged lottery to see if it checks out.