There are lots of lottery scam emails and direct mail items doing the rounds which tell you that you have won a jackpot prize in a real lottery or a fake lottery. Even if they contain a link to lottery.co.uk or quote our address, we did not send them!!
You'll find links to examples of these lottery scam emails (below) published without the writers' permission, in the hope that awareness will, somewhere along the line, save somebody from being parted with their savings. Users who responded to their lottery scam emails saying they are a lottery winner have been asked to send sums such as £7,000 or €5,625 as a "service fee" to receive their 'lotto winnings' or 'euromillions payout'. If you pay that money you then receive another lottery scam letter, claiming to be from the Gaming Board of Great Britain, and with a forged signature of a board member, asking for €20,000. Pay that and you get asked for a courier fee to send your winning cheque. Pay that and... well, you get the idea. Of course your 'winnings' don't exist so they never turn up. Here is a very real example of a lottery scam victim.
So far, at least 70,000 people, and counting, have lost their money - please don't let the next one be you!!
Always remember: if you did not enter the lottery, how could you have won?
National Lottery Scams
On a serious side, many people are asking us what can be done about these National Lottery Scams. The sad fact is that there are so many national lottery scams that the authorities can not chase them all. The Metropolitan Police have established a resource to assist in combating specific types of high value fraud, which include a contact email address. The OFT uncovered 15 call centres in Canada solely targeting the UK with national lottery scams, one of which is known to have conned British victims out of £1,600,000.
If you receive any of the national lottery scam emails mentioned below, we recommend that you delete them and make your friends and colleagues aware of their existence. Do NOT reply to them and DO NOT complete their online claim forms.
NOTE: the actual text of lottery scam emails varies, as do the so-called 'winning numbers', the prize values and name of companies involved. Some variations ask you to complete an emailed or online claim form at a url like "linkfinanceandtrustltd.com" which forwards to anonymous pages on MSN. Others ask you to fill the form in and fax it to them. DO NOT complete the form as you will be giving away personal information to the scamsters and this is what they are after.
Lottery Scam Humour
As a somewhat humorous aside, we received one of these emails addressed to "Dear Sales" (email address: sales@lottery) informing us that we were one of six lucky winners of £2.5 million. The scammer had, however, used CC in their email instead of BCC and you could see that the same email had been sent to several hundred people all with email addresses beginning with the letter "s"!
There's also a group dedicated to scamming the scammers. If you want a laugh at their expense, read this.
Samples of lottery scam emails
These are samples, and there are literaly hundreds of variations including winning numbers for the Irish Lottery, Thunderball and even scratchcards. Please do not send us the one you've received - we've been inundated and don't have space to publish them all.
- BBC Lottery Scam
- National Lottery International
- UK British National Lottery Scam
- Financial Securities Co. Scam
- Bonus Lottery Promotion scam
- UK Queen's Sweep Scam
(Good one this, apparently the Queen's Palace is now in Manchester!!!)
- Irish Lottery international Scam
- UK Mobile Casino Scam
Sample "Procedures for Prize Transfer": Read Email
Lottery scams are a daunting prospect however stay on guard, be attentive and you can avoid becoming another lottery scam victim!