An unexpected or fake prize scam will tell you that you have won a prize or a competition. There are often costs involved with claiming your prize and even if you do receive a prize, it may not be what was promised to you.
These scams work by taking your money and then not sending the prize or sending a prize that is not what you expected. The scammers make their money by making you pay fees or call their premium rate phone numbers (usually starting with 190) to claim your ‘prize’. These premium rate calls can be very expensive and the scammers will try to keep you on the line for a long time or ask you to call a different premium rate number.
You could be notified that you have won a prize in any number of ways—by mail, telephone, internet or in person.
You will lose any money that you pay and you may not receive a prize. Even if you do receive a prize, it might not be what you expected.
If you are told that you’ve won a prize when you haven’t entered any competitions do not respond. Do not write back, do not call the telephone number listed and do not send any money, credit card details or other personal details to the scammers. Responding only indicates that you're interested and you could end up with many more fake offers in the future.
If it is anything other than a registered competition or one you remember entering—say no!
If you have received a prize offer and suspect it could be a scam, or if you have sent money to claim a prize which you now realise is a scam, you can report a scam through the SCAMwatch website. You should also spread the word to your friends and family to protect them.
Phishing emails are fake emails usually pretending to be from banks or other financial institutions. They make up some reason for you to give your account details and then use these details to steal your money.