- Lottery scam
A typical lottery scam begins with an unexpected email notification that "You have won!" a large sum of money in a lottery. The recipient of the message — the target of the scam — is usually told to keep the notice secret, "due to a mix-up in some of the names and numbers," and to contact a "claims agent." After contacting the agent, the target of the scam will be asked to pay "processing fees" or "transfer charges" so that the winnings can be distributed, but will never receive any lottery payment. [" [http://www.microsoft.com/protect/yourself/phishing/hoaxes.mspx How to identify and avoid hoax or fraudulent e-mail scams] ," "
Microsoft"] Many email lottery scams use the "names" of legitimate lottery organizations, but this does not mean the legitimate organizations are in any way involved with the scams.
There are several ways to recognise a fake lottery email:
* Unless you have bought a ticket, you cannot have won a prize. There are no such things as "email" draws or any other lottery where "no tickets were sold". This is simply another invention by the scammer to make you believe you've won.
* The scammer will ask you to pay a fee before you can receive your prize. It is illegal for a real lottery to charge any sort of fee. It does not matter what they say this fee is for (courier charges, bank charges, various imaginary certificates — these are all made up by the scammer to get money out of you). All real lotteries subtract any fee and tax from the prize. They never ask you to pay it in advance.
* Scam lottery emails will nearly always come from free email accounts such as
Yahoo!, Hotmail, MSN, etc, and no real business will use a free email account.
Email lottery scams are a type of
advance fee fraud. A typical scam email will read like this:
Another type of lottery scam is a scam email or web page that tells the recipient he has a sum of money in the lottery. The recipient is instructed to contact an agent very quickly, in some cases offering extra prizes (such as a "7 Day/6 Night Bahamas Cruise Vacation," by
Sundance Vacationsif the user rings within 4 minutes). After contacting the "agent", the recipient will be asked to come to an office, where during one hour or more, the conditions of receiving the offer are revealed. For example, the prize recipient is encouraged to spend as much as 30 times the prize money in order to receive the prize itself. In other words, although the offer is in fact genuine, it is really only a discount of a few percent on an extremely expensive purchase. This type of scam is legal in many jurisdictions.
Sometimes Lottery scam messages are sent by ordinary mail; their content and style is similar to the e-mail versions. For example some scams by letter misuse the names of the legal Spanish lotteries El Gordo and La Primitiva.
* [http://www.world-lotteries.org./services/security_fraudhome.php World Lottery Association warns of foreign lottery fraud risks] , the World Lottery Association
* [http://www.spamlaws.com/lottery-scams.html The Rundown on Lottery Scams]
* [http://www.lottery-guy.com/articles/how-to-spot-a-lottery-scam.html How To Spot A Lottery Scam] , and where to report it
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