You’ve Won the Lotto!
Say you hear or read the words: “You’ve won the Lotto!” What will you do with your winnings?
Who wouldn’t be excited to win a prize, sweepstakes, or lottery (lotto)? But…did you actually win? And how do you know?
Sweepstakes, prize, and lottery frauds are among the top scams people report to the Federal Trade Commission and the sizes of the losses are similar to romance scams.
What Is A Lotto ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.?
A lotto (lottery) or sweepstakes scamSweepstakes Scam These scams involve someone claiming you won a prize. However, they say you must pay a fee or provide sensitive banking information in order to get it. They keep the money, and you get nothing for it. is a type of financial fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. in which scammers (criminals) deceive victims by promising them a large sum of money in exchange for a small fee or personal information. The scammers often pretend to be representatives of a well-known lottery or sweepstakes company to appear legitimate.
Surprisingly, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic seem to be the world headquarters for this type of scam. But criminals from China to India to Brazil to Africa engage in these crimes too.
Types Of Lotto Scams
There are several common types of lottery scamsLottery Scams These scams involve someone claiming you won a prize. However, they say you must pay a fee or provide sensitive banking information in order to get it. They keep the money, and you get nothing for it. that scammers use to deceive victims. Here are some of the most typical ones:
- Advance fee scams: This is one of the most common lottery scams, where scammers tell victims that they have won a lottery but need to pay an advance fee to receive the winnings. The scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. may claim that the fee is for taxes, processing, or handling charges.
- Fake check scams: In this type of scam, the scammer sends a check to the victim, claiming that it’s their lottery winnings. The check is usually for a large amount, and the scammer asks the victim to deposit the check and then send them a portion of the money back. However, the check is fake, and once the victim sends the money, they discover that the check has bounced.
- Email and text message scams: Scammers send emails or text messages to victims, claiming that they have won a lottery. They ask the victim to reply to the message with their personal information or to click on a link that takes them to a fake website where they can enter their details.
- International lottery scams: In these scams, scammers claim that the victim has won a foreign lottery and ask them to pay fees to claim the winnings. The scammer may also ask the victim to travel to a foreign country to collect the prize, but once they arrive, they find that there is no lottery and they have been scammed.
- Winning number scams: In this type of scam, scammers call victims to tell them that they have won a lottery but need to provide their winning numbers to claim the prize. The scammer may then use the numbers to access the victim’s bank account or steal their identity.
How These Loto & Sweepstakes ScamsSweepstakes Scams These scams involve someone claiming you won a prize. However, they say you must pay a fee or provide sensitive banking information in order to get it. They keep the money, and you get nothing for it. Work:
The scam typically begins with an email, phone call, or letter informing the victim that they have won a large sum of money in a lottery or sweepstakes, even though they never entered it. The scammer will then ask the victim to pay a small fee, usually for taxes or administrative costs, in order to claim the prize. Alternatively, they may ask for personal information, such as bank account or credit card details, in order to process the winnings.
Once the victim pays the fee or provides their personal information, the scammers disappear and the victim never receives the promised winnings. In some cases, the scammers may even ask for more money or information, claiming that there are unexpected fees or complications.
If the scammers sent a fake check to the victim and they deposited it, usually sending a portion to the scammers afterward, the victim will then be liable for whatever they withdrew and sent to the scammers, plus bank fees. And this was a bad check, it is usually a violation of law too!
The Impact On Victims Of Lotto Scams
Remember, these scams usually start with a call or message that says you’re a winner. (obviously a lie.) They say to get the so-called prize you have to send money or click somewhere to give your information. Don’t. The most recent FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov data shows people reported losing $301 million to this type of fraud. That’s an average loss of $907 per person.
The impact on victims can be devastating, both financially and emotionally. They may lose a significant amount of money, and the personal information they provided may be used for further fraudulent activities. Victims may feel embarrassed or ashamed about falling for the scam, and it can damage their trust in others.
What To Know About Real Contests and Prizes
Plenty of contests are run by reputable marketers and non-profit organizations. But there are some things to know before you drop in a quick entry or follow instructions to claim a prize.
- Real sweepstakes are free and by chance. It’s illegal to ask you to pay or buy something to enter or to increase your odds of winning.
- Contest promoters might sell your information to advertisers. If you sign up for a contest or a drawing, you’re likely to get more promotional mail, telemarketing calls, or spam.
- Contest promoters have to tell you certain things. If they call you, the law says they have to tell you that entering is free, what the prizes are and their value, the odds of winning, and how you’d redeem a prize.
- Sweepstakes mailings must say you don’t have to pay to participate. They also can’t claim you’re a winner unless you’ve actually won a prize. And if they include a fake check in their mailing, it has to clearly say that it’s non-negotiable and has no cash value.
A special note about skills contests. A skills contest — where you do things like solve problems or answer questions correctly to earn prizes — can ask you to pay to play. But you might end up paying repeatedly, with each round getting more difficult and expensive, before you realize it’s impossible to win or just a scam. Skills contests can leave contestants with nothing to show for their money and effort.
Avoiding Lotto & Sweepstakes Scams
Remember there are also legitimate contests and prizes that follow the law and give real prizes. So how do you know the difference?
One question to consider is: did you enter the sweepstakes or play the lottery? If not, you absolutely didn’t win. And here are other ways to spot and avoid prize scams:
- Don’t pay to get a prize. Real prizes are free. Anyone who asks you to pay a fee for “taxes,” “shipping and handling charges,” or “processing fees” to get your prize, is a scammer. Stop and walk away.
- Don’t give your financial information. There is absolutely no reason to ever give your bank account or credit card number to claim a prize. If anyone asks for it, it’s a scam.
- Don’t give your personal information. Scammers hope you’ll click on links that will take your personal information or download malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts. on your device. Delete the message without clicking on the links and don’t respond.
Did You Pay A Scammer?
|Did you pay with a credit card or debit card?||Contact the company or bank that issued the credit card or debit card. Tell them it was a fraudulent charge. Ask them to reverse the transaction and give you your money back.|
|Did a scammer make an unauthorized transfer from your bank account?||Contact your bank and tell them it was an unauthorized debit or withdrawal. Ask them to reverse the transaction and give you your money back.|
|Did you pay with a gift card?||Contact the company that issued the gift card. Tell them it was used in a scam and ask them to refund your money. Keep the gift card itself, and the gift card receipt.|
|Did you send a wire transfer through a company like Western Union or MoneyGram?||Contact the wire transfer company. Tell them it was a fraudulent transfer. Ask them to reverse the wire transfer and give you your money back.
|Did you send a wire transfer through your bank?||Contact your bank and report the fraudulent transfer. Ask them to reverse the wire transfer and give you your money back.|
|Did you send money through a money transfer app?||Report the fraudulent transaction to the company behind the money transfer app and ask them to reverse the payment. If you linked the app to a credit card or debit card, report the fraud to your credit card company or bank. Ask them to reverse the charge.|
|Did you pay with cryptocurrency?||Cryptocurrency payments typically can be recovered but this will be done by your local policeLocal Police The Local Police is your first responder in most countries. In most English-speaking countries and in Europe report to them first. In other countries look for your national cybercrime police units to report scams to. In the U.S., Canada, & Australia, you must report to the local police first. or the U.S. Secret Service.|
|Did you send cash?||If you sent cash by U.S. mail, contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455 and ask them to intercept the package. To learn more about this process, visit USPS Package Intercept: The Basics.
If you used another delivery service, contact them as soon as possible.
Now You Know!
Do not response to stranger phone calls or messages, especially about a lottery or sweepstakes!
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SCARS provides the leading Support & Recovery program for relationship scamRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? victims – completely FREE!
Our managed peer supportPeer support Peer support occurs when people provide knowledge, experience, emotional, social or practical help to each other. It commonly refers to an initiative consisting of trained supporters and can take a number of forms such as peer mentoring, reflective listening (reflecting content and/or feelings), or in a support group. Peer support is also used to refer to initiatives where colleagues, members of self-help organizations and others meet, in person or online, to give each other connection and support on a reciprocal basis. Peer support is distinct from other forms of social support in that the source of support is a peer, a person who is similar in fundamental ways to the recipient of the support; their relationship is one of equality. A peer is in a position to offer support by virtue of relevant experience: he or she has "been there, done that" and can relate to others who are now in a similar situation. Trained peer support workers such as SCARS Volunteers receive special training and may be required to obtain Continuing Education Units, similar to clinical staff. Some other trained peer support workers may also be law-enforcement personnel and firefighters as well as emergency medical responders. groups allow victims to talk to other survivorsSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com and recover in the most experienced environment possible, for as long as they need. Recovery takes as long as it takes – we put no limits on our support!
SCARS is the most trusted support & education provider in the world. Our team is certified in trauma-informedTrauma-Informed Trauma-informed care shifts the focus from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” A trauma-informed approach to care acknowledges that health care needs to have a complete picture of a patient’s life situation — past and present — in order to provide effective care services with a healing orientation. Adopting trauma-informed practices can potentially improve patient engagement, treatment adherence, and health outcomes. care, grief counselingCounseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Such persons may help individuals deal with issues associated with addiction and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. They may also work with "Social Workers", "Psychiatrists", and "Psychologists". SCARS does not provide mental health counseling., and so much more!
To apply to join our groups visit support.AgainstScams.org
We also offer separate support groupsSupport Groups In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers. for family & friends too.
SCARS STAR™ Member
SCARS offers memberships in our STAR program, which includes many benefits for a very low annual membership fee!
SCARS STAR Membership benefits include:
- FREE Counseling or Therapy Benefit from our partner BetterHelp.com
- Exclusive members-only content & publications
- Discounts on SCARS Self-Help Books Save
- And more!
To learn more about the SCARS STAR Membership visit membership.AgainstScams.org
To become a SCARS STAR Member right now visit join.AgainstScams.org
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SCARS Printed Books For Every Scam SurvivorSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com From SCARS Publishing
Each is based on our SCARS Team’s 32 plus years of experience.
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Use Discount Code “romanacescamsnow” at Checkout
SCARS GREEN BOOK
Self-Help Self-Paced Recovery Program Guide
LEARN HOW TO RECOVER ON YOUR OWN
This program is designed to help scam victims struggling to recover on their own and for those who want to understand the overall process. You can be using other resources, such as traumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS. counseling or therapy, qualified support groups, or completely independent – on your own!
The SCARS Steps program is a complete program and is provided for the purpose of helping scam victims to overcome this experience. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues and challenges that a victim may have and help guide them through their recovery. But each person is different and it is important to understand your own reasons for being vulnerable to being scammed.
After the trauma of being scammed, you need to take steps to recover and move on. This may be an alternative to counseling in the short term, but we still encourage you to seek out professional help & support. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues, challenges, defects, or problems that a victim may have in a generalized way.
The SCARS GREEN BOOK will help you recover from your scam offline and it will always be there when you need it!
SCARS SLATE BOOK – Let Us Explain What Happened!
A Guide For Families & Friends Of Scam Victims
HOW TO HELP ROMANCE SCAM VICTIMS FOR FAMILIES & FRIENDS OF SCAM VICTIMS
This SCARS Publishing book represents a complete guide to help the families and friends understand how these scams work and how to help the victim.
The SCARS Slate Book should be purchased by family and friends to better understand what happened to the victim and the traumatic impact on them. But it can also be shared by the victim so that they do not have to explain to family and friends about the scam. This publication is to help others to help Scam Victims to make it through this traumatic experience and recover.
Each person is different and it is important to understand how relationship scamsRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? work and why people are vulnerable; to being scammed, how they were lured in, then groomed and manipulated. This understanding is essential in helping them through the process of ending the scam and then on to recovery. The SCARS Slate Book will provide the information necessary to help support a victim through this process.
SCARS RED BOOK
Your Personal Scam Evidence & Crime Record Organizer
ORGANIZE YOUR INFORMATION TO MAKE THE REPORTING PROCESS SIMPLE!
Helps you get and stay organized. This publication is to help Scam Victims organize their crime information. Complete this information before reporting to the police then bring this book with you
Before or after reporting to the police the RED BOOK gives you a dedicated tool to record all the essential facts of this crime. The Victim, the Scammers, the Money, and your Police interactions. Everything that really matters can be easily recorded for your immediate use and for the future!
As we have seen, money recovery/repayment programs can become available years after the scam ends and you need to keep all the details of this crime in case it is needed. We have also seen scammers being extradited to the U.S. and other countries, this will help in the event you testify or give statements, Additionally, this helps you have your information ready to qualify for victims’ benefits, compensation, or aid.
The Official SCARS RED BOOK is your way of recording all the important facts of this crime so that you do not lose essential information, Complete the RED BOOK then put it away with the confidence that you will have it if or when it is needed.
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