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SCAMwatch homeLottery and competition scams (fake prizes)

Lottery and competition scams (fake prizes)

Lottery and competition scams are delivered in many ways—in person, over the telephone, through the post or by email. The scammer will tell you that you’ve won something substantial (such as a large sum of money or a great prize) and that all you have to do is send them money to claim the prize.

Rather than winning a prize, you could lose a lot of money.

If you are told that you’ve won a lottery or competition and you are not sure that you entered it, the best thing to do is to say ‘no’. Hang up the phone, delete the email or throw away the letter.

ALWAYS seek independent financial and/or legal advice before deciding to send money, and never give your banking details to anybody you are not completely sure of.


Fake lottery or sweepstakes ‘winnings’ to tempt you into sending money or your personal details.

Unexpected prizes that need you to send money to claim—you may never receive the prize or it may not be what you expected.

Similar scams:

You are encouraged to enter a competition or trivia contest over SMS for a great prize – but misled about your chances or how much it will cost to take part.

You are asked to send money upfront for a product or ‘reward’. You will end up with something much less than you expected, or nothing at all.

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