The letters follow a similar format in that they state that the recipient of the letter has won a prize in a recent draw, usually totalling several hundred thousand pounds, and details on how to claim the prize via contact details are supplied.
These letters often also state that for ‘security reasons’ you should keep this win ‘confidential’.
Both of these are further examples of lottery scam letters and no prizes are available. Anyone who makes contact via the details supplied will be persuaded to part with personal details and money as part of an ‘upfront processing fee’.
If you receive an unexpected letter claiming you have won a lottery you never entered dispose of it correctly without responding in any way.
Here are some simple steps you can take to avoid lottery scams:
- If you haven’t entered a lottery then you can’t have won it. Never respond to unexpected communications.
- Official lotteries in other countries operate in much the same way as the UK’s National Lotto. No official lotteries that we know of contact people to tell them of their win.
- We don’t know of any official lottery operators who ask for fees to collect winnings. Any request for a fee payment is a good indication that someone is trying to scam you.
- Never disclose your bank details or pay fees in advance to claim a lottery win
- If they’ve provided an email address to respond to, be very suspicious of addresses such as @hotmail.com or @yahoo.com or numbers beginning with 07 because these are free to get hold of
- Genuine lotteries thrive on publicity. If they ask you to keep your win a secret it’s likely to be a scam.
- Many examples of lottery scam letters have bad spelling and grammar – see this as a warning that fraudsters are at work