A lottery scam usually begins when a victim or a prospect receives an email, a phone call or a text message informing him or her about having won a certain amount of money out of a raffle or a promotional game sponsored by a certain company, organization, foundation or an influential individual.
Other information included in the sent message is a request of treating the message as confidential as well as a guide on how to claim the winnings. The names of the awarding entities or persons usually sound legitimate but this does not mean that the companies mentioned are into this promotional gimmick or are in any way involved in this lottery scam. Sometimes, the scammer refers to your winnings as part of an email draw in which your email address has been selected.
The information from the sent message also requests the winner of calling a certain phone number to be informed on the procedures of processing the winnings including sending money for processing the award or as transfer charges. Sometimes a specific instruction is sent as an email to instruct the person to send money to a specific person who is in charge of the promotional gimmick. The advance fee demand is the common scenario that appears in almost all lottery scams.
Another type of lottery scam is that which uses an email but makes use of a third party- a company or a person that you should contact. This is done to hide the scammer’s true identification.
The scam also offers extra prizes as enticement. The victim is requested to contact the third party or agent and go to his or her office where the conditions are explained prior to receiving your prize. The award may be genuine but usually the victim has to spend or fork out a large sum of money or buy something expensive before receiving the award.
How to Tell if It Is a Scam
It’s all about logical thinking or common sense. You could easily identify a lottery scam especially if you didn’t a ticket or purchased anything that offered a raffle. It is simply impossible for you to have won a prize without joining any raffle or promotional gimmick.
The manner of asking a fee before you can claim your prize is already a good sign that this is a lottery scam. If this award was out of an email draw by which your email address has been selected, then it is also questionable since there is no such thing as an email draw even if your email account exists in Yahoo!, Gmail and other popular email providers.