Guide How to Avoid Lottery Scam
The one and only most important thing you should know about online lottery scam is this: If you haven’t played it, you haven’t won it! If you are reading this article then you are probably asking yourself this question:
Am I a victim of a lottery scam? If:
- you receive an official looking email stating that you’ve won a large sum of money in a lottery,
- you have responded to a lottery scam email and supplied personal information,
- you have paid a fee upfront to release your winnings,
then – YES, you are a victim of a lottery scam!
Spot a Lottery Scam
There are many warning signs you can recognize that the email you have received or the lottery website is a scam. Here are some of them:
- You are Asked to Pay Taxes Upfront – If you win the lottery you pay taxes AFTER you receive the prize. No taxes and fees should be collected beforehand.The only exception is if you have to pay a small amount of money for the service that legitimate lottery agent provide in order to buy the ticket on your behalf. This information should be provided on the Terms and Condition page on the website.
- You Receive a “Congratulation” Email – and it’s a lottery you haven’t played in – 100% scam. The official lotteries never send notifying emails. You have to check if you have won yourself.
- You are Asked to Provide Personal Details via Email – Again, 100% scam. Not only that is dangerous but is also illegal. Those mails usually look legitimate, but most of the time they are sent as a bulk mail with thousands of other names attached.
- You are Asked for “administration” Fee – You should never be asked for any fees upfront or after winning.
- You Have to Pay to Win – There are many “secret” method programs offering a strategy to win the lottery. Never pay for one – 100% scam.
- You Have to Respond “urgently” – because otherwise, somebody else will win. Scam trap!
- You are Offered a Prize that is too Good to be True! – Then be sure it is not true. Scam by the book!
Protect Yourself from Lottery Scams
If you receive an email inviting you to play the lottery or you’ve seen a big cash prize on a website that you want to win, the first thing is not giving your bank account details, but investigate and protect yourself from scams. Here are some useful tips:
- Ignore Scam Emails – if you spot right away that it is the scam, don’t even open it. Simply click “Spam”. But if it looks legit and you are curious, ignore it in those cases:
- It is a “Congratulations on your winning” Email
- You are Asked for Money in Advance to Win
- You are Asked for Personal Information
- The Mail is Sent from @gmail, @yahoo etc., a Domain that is NOT the Legitimate Lottery
- Gather as Much Information as Possible – go through the entire website and see if something is wrong. If this is not enough for you just Google it.
- Scan the Name online – to find more information you can check the name in websites like WhitePages or Whois. Through those websites details about owners, addresses etc.
- Scan the Forums – if you are still not sure about is it real or is it a scam, you can always check the forums and read what people have to say about those lottery websites
- Read Reviews – That’s what we are here for! You can find thorough reviews and see if one website is a scam or not.
- Track the Email Address – how to do it is simple. If the email is sent from @***gmail.com, copy the *** and search for more information on the web.
- Check the Contact Page – before deciding to play, one more thing you can do is see if the website has a legitimate Contact page that you can go to if something goes wrong.
- Legal Status and License – If the lottery is not conducted by a government or government-authorized organization, it cannot be a legitimate lottery. You can also check if the lottery agent website is licensed and official.
Dealing with Lottery Scams
We have gathered some tips that might be helpful to you if you had fallen into the trap of the scammers.
- Stay Calm – Just stay calm and know that everything is going to be alright. There are many things you can do. Don’t panic and think rational.
- Report – We cannot stress the importance of this enough. In every country, there is a Cyber crime report center where you can address your complaint. This is the way to prevent others from falling in the same trap.
- Contact Scammer for Refund – No one is untraceable! If the scammer has not provided contact information, you can go through the abovementioned tips and you will find all the details you need. If you contact that person, be patient. He probably won’t be willing to give any money back!
- Break off any Communication with the Scammer – If you have already responded to a scam email, but haven’t given money or personal details, stop any communication immediately.
- Alert Your Bank – If you’ve responded to a scam email AND you have given your bank account information, notify the bank at once.
- Scammer or Scammers – be aware that if you have once been a victim of a scam, you will most likely be a target for other scammers. Scammers share details, usually email lists, about people they have successfully approached, using different identities to commit scams.
- Contact us! – If nothing from the listed above works, you should most definitely contact us. Notify our staff about the scam, so we can expose it in a review and warn people to be cautious.
Now you know what to do. Go play… safely!