Lottery is one of the simplest and entertaining forms of gambling and yet it is also the game with the hardest one to win. Some major lotteries like in Singapore Pools have a jackpot prize that has an amount that is above par from what is usually expected from a gambling game, that is why many people are so desperate to win the prize.
Some people are so desperate that they even fall victim to messages telling them that they have won in a lottery game even though they are scams. Lottery scams exist and there are countless cautionary tales online from the people who have experienced being deceived by these lottery scams.
How does the scam work?
There are many versions of lottery scams that have emerged these past few years but they all have a few things in common. The most common scam goes something like this.
First, you will receive a notification that says that you have won a prize or money in a competition, sweepstakes or lottery that you never actually remember joining. The message comes in many forms like text message, e-mail, a call, snail mail or via social media messaging.
The typical prizes are ranging from bigger things like unrealistic money wins or an all-expense-paid holiday trip to smaller things such as gadgets like a laptop or smartphone. The messages also included an instruction to send money in order to claim these prizes. The scammer will tell you that these fees are for government taxes, insurance costs or delivery charges.
The scammer will also urge you to follow the instructions quickly to make you fall for the scam out of greed or fear of missing out. Some scammers also ask you to keep the winning a secret to prevent you from seeking advice or further information about the scam.
Some of these scammers also use the names of real lotteries from abroad like SG Pools, usually lotteries from Spain. Some of these scams will also ask for your personal and bank details to steal money from you or use your personal details for further future use in a new scam under a new guise.
These are the early warning signs that will tell you that you received a scam notification and why you should put these things in amber alert.
When you receive a message or notification that tells you that you have won a prize from a competition or lottery that you did not enter.
The sender of these messages prompt you that you are a winner and you need to send your personal information because you are randomly chosen from a pool of members. The scammer will also tell you that they are ‘legitimate’ or ‘government approved’.
The prize is sponsored by a company or industry that doesn’t usually run competitions like this like electronics or social media companies.
The message asks you to send your personal details like financial data or personal address.
How to protect yourself?
If you know that you never entered any competition or joined a lottery then chances are that you never won anything.
If someone asks you to send money directly then chances are that it is a scam. Avoid sending your hard-earned money even if they send you a cheque.
Verify the identity of the sender of these messages and do research about this person. Refrain from giving your mobile number to anyone that you do not trust.
Take time to research the details of these competitions. There might be scams out there that are similar to the one you received and it is a confirmation enough that it is a scam.
What to do when you are scammed?
If you have been scammed and your bank account or credit card details have been compromised, alert the bank linked to your card or financial institutions immediately.
If you have been a victim of these elaborate schemes then send a report to a Report a Scam website to warn other people about new scams. Talk to a financial and security expert to give you guidance and to protect you from falling from any scams again. Also play in a legitimate lottery website like Singapore Pools online.