Lottery Scams

Lottery.net does not send out emails detailing lottery wins to anybody unsolicited or otherwise. Therefore, if you receive one from Lottery.net saying you have won the lottery you can safely assume it is a scam.

It has come to our attention that there has been a number of emails sent out under the name Lottery.net claiming that "lottery.net in collaboration with the Canada Lottery Board, America Lottery Board and Australia Lottery Board" have issued a series of $1 million prizes. Lottery.net is not involved with the organisation or distribution of prize funds, and all communication claiming to be from Lottery.net is false. Please be extra vigilant, and read the below information regarding Lottery Scams.

Scammers are also using more modern methods to contact potential victims now, such as text messaging to mobile phones or messaging via social media sites such as Facebook. In many cases they invent totally new lotteries, which they call "second chance raffles". They simply request personal details from you. Do not, under any circumstances, reply or give out personal details to such a request.

Emails are also being sent claiming to be from previous well-known lottery winners, who want to gift cash to those less fortunate. If lottery players do donate their winnings, they will do so in the form of a Trust to which potential applicants must apply. They will NEVER contact individuals directly.

Lottery scams, shams and cons are nothing new – devious individuals have been trying to dupe unsuspecting lottery enthusiasts out of their hard earned cash for years. Law enforcement organisations around the globe are working hard to put the scam merchants out of business, but unfortunately the con men are like the zombies in any half-decent horror movie, and when you put one group out of commission three more groups emerge somewhere else.

Originally the lottery scams approached potential victims by direct mail, but now the internet is the tool of choice among the con men. For a laughably small amount of money, a con man can send the same e-mail to millions of people all over the world just by clicking the right button, and even if he only gets a handful of replies he will make enough profit to keep him going for months. In fact, lottery scamming is so lucrative that it’s fast becoming a favourite area of interest for large cross-border criminal organisations as well as unscrupulous individuals.

So what exactly do lottery scams involve? Well, it’s actually quite simple. The potential victim is sent an e-mail or even text message which tells them that they have recently won a major prize – often the jackpot – in a lottery or a raffle. But because the victim lives overseas, they will need to pay a “small fee” to have their winnings transferred directly to their bank account. We put the phrase “small fee” in inverted commas because in some cases the amount requested has been as high as five figures. The emails can also request personal information from you, such as name, address, date of birth and even passport or driving licence numbers, which then they can use to steal your identity.

In the most effective scams, the e-mail is written very carefully to look as official as possible, and sometimes includes links back to genuine lottery organisation pages. Occasionally phone numbers are also given, and these are supported by call centres to take questions and put the victim’s mind at rest that, yes, their win really is official!

You may think that people are so aware of e-mail spam that they wouldn’t get caught out by an approach such as this, but the desire to win among lottery players is often so high that it temporarily renders them blind to the idea that they are being deceived. And as we said earlier, the individuals and organisations behind the scam don’t need a huge number of people to fall for it. Because they send out millions of e-mails, even a fractional percentage of positive responses can make them massive amounts of money.

Remember the only way you can win the lottery is through purchasing a ticket and matching the numbers drawn. No one can automatically win the lottery because their email address or telephone number has been selected. Therefore if you ever receive something that tells you you have won a substantial prize in an American Lottery such as the Powerball or MegaMillions or a Canadian Lottery such as the Lotto Max or Lotto 6/49 ask yourself the question – did I play this lottery in that particular draw?

No genuine lottery will ever ask a winner to pay them a cent before they transfer funds over. Furthermore, no genuine lottery will pay a jackpot to anyone they haven’t verified in person. And as if we needed to say this, no genuine lottery will pay out to an individual who hasn’t previously bought a ticket! So be on you guard. Should you ever receive an unexpected e-mail, letter or phone call informing you that you’ve won a lottery, but that you need to pay a fee or provide your bank details to receive your funds, do yourself a favour and hit delete or hang up. You haven’t won anything, but by being smart you will have avoided the devious grasp of yet another con artist.

Remember, you can only win a lottery prize if you have purchased a valid ticket with the relevant matching numbers for that specific game and that specific date - and you have the ticket. There is no other way to win.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


 

Article Last Updated: 15/04/2013

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