A new type of lottery fraud has been reported in Austintown, Ohio as described by the local newspaper.
Initially the victim cannot see a scam at all and believes he or she has received an unexpected windfall. One Austintown woman opened her mail to discover a cheque for $1985 from an organisation called the ‘Global Lotto Commission.’
There was a letter with the cheque and it informed the lady that she had won a share of a $125,000 lottery jackpot. To take the process further she was to call a particular number and speak to a named person in the organisation. The lady receiving the letter was fortunately huay smart enough not to ring the number given but instead took the letter to the authorities.
The Global Lotto Commission is a well-used cover for many scams and of course does not exist.
Some recipients of the letter and money would have cashed the cheque thinking nothing could go wrong. Of course this is not true; if anyone rings the number they would be instructed to forward a share of the money using a money transfer company in order to cover ‘administration charges.’ The cheque will then be discovered to be invalid by the bank and the victim will have sent his or her own money to the thieves.
Camelot, the administrators of the British National Lottery, and other legitimate lottery organizations know just how prevalent the scams are becoming so they are trying to make it widely known that nobody should give money or information to the scams and to understand what bogus communications look like. The scammers want either your personal information or your money.
On their website the British National Lottery administrators provide information useful to everyone and it is applicable to any of the global lotteries. There are certain guidelines that are getting well known now but are always worth communicating.
None of the legitimate lottery organizations will contact a player who has won a prize in a draw. It is the responsibility of any winner to contact them to show their winning ticket and claim their prize.
To participate in any legal lottery all players must purchase a ticket or join a syndicate. There is no exception to this: you will know in advance that you are in a lottery, as you will have parted with money. Of course you can now play lotteries online but even then you have to buy tickets before the draw takes place.
The administrators of the British National Lottery and other legitimate lotteries would never inform you how much you have won using email nor would they ever ask for any money or your personal; details. They have no reason to do so.
Scams are becoming more sophisticated now. Some emails include a link embedded within them and this will take you to what looks like an official lottery website. You will be asked to enter your personal details or even download software. Any details you enter will then be used to access your accounts or even make purchases in your name. Such links should always be ignored.
It is possible you may still wonder if an email or letter is genuine. If so, then check on Google for the official legitimate website for the lottery and, if the results show a site different to the one in the email, then you are the victim of a scam. In any case, it is worth Googling any lottery organization mentioned in any communication, as this will bring up any reports of scams already notified.
All the global lotteries have their own websites and most have information on scams and how to avoid them.
The golden rule is if you are the recipient of a letter, email or even a telephone call informing you that you have won a prize in a lottery you have not entered, destroy the letter, delete the email or put the telephone receiver down. There are websites to which you can report scams and your local police or trading standards department may be interested but it is essential that you do not act as instructed by the scammers.
Such scams have already made too much money from their victims, it is time we stopped their source of money and information.
Keith Braithwaite has had twenty years in and keenly observing direct selling. He is an accredited Elottery affiliate. Other passions include personal development, painting, drawing, photography cycling, walking and the outdoors generally.