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Lottery fraud

Non-players cannot win in the lottery, but they are sometimes contacted by representatives from sites who inform them they won, but they may not have ever purchased any such ticket. The tricksters then ask the victim to pay advance or transaction fees to claim the winnings.  

Such offers cannot be genuine as the winner is asked to pay many different fees to claim the huge money, but when they think they will get it, they are again asked to pay some charges like a postal or bank charge.

How Does It Happen?

People get an email or a phone call that states they won a lottery or a jackpot, sometimes overseas. The scheme representative asks the target to contact their officials to process the payment of award money. 

If you respond, they will ask you to fill in the personal information and bank details and provide copies of certain documents like your passports or proof of identity. Then, they use your data for identity theft.

Subsequently, they ask you to pay a fee to claim the money, and every time you pay, they give reasons why your lottery money could not be released and seek more payments, giving multiple other reasons. If you stop paying, they stop all forms of communication. 

How To Protect Yourself?

  • You should not respond to messages from sites offering lottery if you have not registered or visited the site.

  • Hang up calls from representatives of such gaming platforms where you have not entered.

  • You should know that authentic lottery firms never ask for money upfront to release your winnings. 

  • Please do not reveal your bank details to them, and do not pay any fee to get your prize money. If you inform them about your bank accounts, they use unscrupulous methods to empty them.   So, you should break your communication, block contact, and alert your bank.

How To Spot It?

  • If you get a message stating, "You won the lottery," but you never bought a ticket.

  • If you are asked to contact/reply quickly and advised not to tell about the win to the friends or family.

  • You won if you are asked to pay taxes, banking fees and certain legal costs to get the money. 

  • If you suspect any such fraud, report it to the authorities.

Date Published: Sep 09, 2023

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.

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