Beware: There’s Nothing Like Online Lotteries or Prize Schemes!

by Ahmer Khan

Lottery schemes, by and far, are rubbish. Unless run by an official body, chances are the scheme is fake and you are being duped. That doesn’t change the fact that every year countless people fall prey and lose significant money to fraudsters who trap innocent individuals.

Even a person with a rational mind can fall into the trap, dreaming of riches that elevate them through their troubles.

But remember this, always: Lottery schemes don’t exist. There’s no prize scheme ever, especially when you never participated in a scheme in the first place. Just don’t get trapped.

The classic lottery scam consists of a message stating you have won a large amount of money in a foreign lottery and that you just need to claim your prize. Once you contact the “organizers” of the lottery with your special code, they’ll tell you that you have to pay a fee in order to transfer the money. Once you do, surprise surprise, they disappear.

Another tactic is to ask you for your bank information so they can deposit the money directly in your bank account. You get deeper into the scam as the money supposedly gets closer to your bank account, but can’t seem to quite get there without some processing fee or more detailed and personal information from your side.

Signs You Are Taking Part In A Fake Lottery Scheme

  • You receive a letter, email or text message saying you have won a guaranteed prize in a lottery or competition that you did not enter.
  • The sender claims they have identified you as a winner by randomly choosing your email address. They may say the offer is ‘legal’ or ‘legitimate’, and has ‘government approval’.
  • To claim your prize you are asked to buy a ticket, pay a fee or sms/call a cell phone number.
  • You may be asked to provide your personal and bank account details, or to send the fee to a PO Box number or via a money transfer service.

Fake Telecom Lottery Scam

Few days ago, major Pakistani Banks took an initiative to warn their customers to ignore any kind of lottery or prize SMS & e-mail messages that claim to give them a large sum of money in foreign currency such as US Dollar, British Pound etc. People get trapped and provide their personal and financial information to scammers and lose their hard earn money. User education and awareness is the only way to deal with these kind of scams.

Lottery Lotto Scams: How Do They Work?

1) Any user receive a SMS / Email message.

You have Won £5,47,500 from Uk global telecom.
Your lottery # is 656410.
Fill online form and get free lottery.
This claim is free!

2) User visit that fake lottery website to fill the form.

3) Fake Lottery form uses Unicode Urdu language for most options and the List of major Pakistani Banks confirms that the target audience is Pakistani users. The form require users to input personal and sensitive financial information such as ID Card Number, date of birth, Mobile No, Bank Name, Branch code, Bank Account number, Credit/Debit Card Number, Card Expiry date and Card Security Code CVV etc.

4) Once a user provides personal and financial information and press the REGISTER button it redirects to a bogus, Thank You for Registration Page

We Need More Awareness Drives

Concerned authorities should start awareness programs to educate the users. SECP is doing a very good job as they have started project that provides a valuable information and awareness and they also published a Public Warning on their website.

But that’s not enough. Authorities need to spread awareness on mass-scale through print and electronic media to reach the masses.

People also need to realize that there is no magic formula or shortcut to fixing their woes.

Be mindful that there’s no prize scheme or lottery that will require you to pay any processing fee. If you do decide to indulge in such schemes, for some God forsaken reason, please consult an official body or a government official to gauge the veracity of the scheme before you lose your savings.