Market Insider By Peter Tremblay 1550 Views

5 Tips To Avoid Lottery Scams

The chances of winning the National Lottery jackpot is 1 in 45,057,474, according to the Lotto website. However, winning a lottery can be a life-changing opportunity, especially with a $1.5 billion-dollar jackpot attached to it.

Although you may be forgiven to think that due to the odds, lottery scams rarely occur, but in reality, they are very common. In fact, according to a Better Business Bureaureport, you’re much more likely to be contacted by a lottery scammer than you are to win the lottery.

The strategy of some of these scammers is to falsely identify themselves as affiliates with Mega Millions or Powerball—that’s why it’s necessary to always play Powerball and Mega Millions at Lottoland, to guarantee your safety.However, these scams all have one thing in common: They try to conunsuspecting people into revealing personal information or send them money by claiming that they have won a huge lottery jackpot.

Older people are often the target of these scams—as scammers have been known to wipe out victims’ retirement savings—but anyone can be a target. According to an ABCreport, a 78-year-old woman from Florida lost $10,000 of her savings after falling victim to a foreign-lottery scam.

Nonetheless, with lottery scammers on the loose, here are a few important tips to ensure that you don’t fall victim to any lottery scam.

1.  You can’t win the lottery if you never bought a ticket

While this is usually the most obvious red flag, however, for some, the thought of winning a huge sum of money overrides this.

However, the fact remains that if you didn’t purchase a lottery ticket, it is impossible to win a legitimate lottery. Therefore, if anyone contacts you claiming you’ve won a lottery you never entered, it should be an immediate warning sign.

2.  Be sure to never share financial or personal information to strangers

Lottery scammers aren’t only after your money, some mostly target your personal or financial information to enable them successfully steal your identity.

Typically, most lottery scammers would request personal documents such as your passport, driver’s license and even bank information. However, it is important never to give away such information to random people without proper verification.

“Never share your credit card and banking information. Scam artists will often ask for your private financial information during an unsolicited sales pitch,” notes the Federal Trade Commission.

3.  Claiming a legitimate lottery doesn’t cost any additional fee

Let’s assume you purchased a lottery ticket and was told by an anonymous person that you have emerged a winner, but you need to pay a fee to claim it. Before you start any celebrations, it is important to know that no legitimate lottery would require you to pay any fee to claim your jackpot.

Therefore, if such situation arises, it should be a vivid warning that you should steer clear of.

4.  Ensure to contact the organization directly for all forms of verification

Before responding to any letter or email claiming that you have won a lottery, take some time out to contact the organization directly.

It is highly advisable not to use the contacts provided in the email or letter but reach out to these organizations directly through their official platforms.

5.  Always practice safe habits

There are several safe habits you can practice that would ensure you’re never a victim of a lottery scam. For example, it is safe to never open emails from an unknown sender. But in the event that you do, it is important to never click on any of the links provided in the email.

Like earlier stated, you should ensure that you verify the sender and agency of such emails.

You should also be suspicious of emails that contain spelling or grammatical errors—or if the individual who called you has a very poor command of English.