Mega Millions is currently offering $390.000.000 windfall, and whenever the jackpot gets this high there’s a big probability of someone out there using the lotto craze to lure naive players who are hungry for some fast and easy cash. No matter where you come from, international lottery scams are hard to avoid and almost everyone encountered them in some shape or form, but the good news is that they usually follow a certain pattern and aren’t so hard to spot. If you receive an e-mail or a phone call in the future that seems suspicious, ask yourself these 5 questions before you fall victim to a lotto scam.
1. Did you buy a ticket for this game?
There are many secrets to winning the lottery, but getting an e-mail telling you that you’ve scooped an enormous prize in a game you don’t even remember entering isn’t one of them. If you didn’t purchase a ticket, no matter if it’s online or offline, you can’t win – period! It’s that simple, and it only takes some common sense to realize what’s happening, but in reality almost every lottery fraud starts this way and it’s important to keep your guard up at all times.
2. Where is your ticket?
Many lottery aficionados buy too many tickets to remember them and the fact that they actually did enter a game ends up clouding their judgment when they get a lottery scam e-mail. If you still play the old fashioned way, the easiest solution is to look for your ticket – just check your numbers, and see what happens. If you play online at Multilotto, just go see the winning lines on our lotto results page and check the balance on your Player Account, because that’s where the money goes after you win a prize.
3. Are they asking you to pay for something?
If the answer is, “Yes”, it’s most certainly a lotto fraud. In order to claim a gigantic windfall, scammers will convince you that you have to buy a ticket, pay a fee or call a premium rate phone number (usually starting with 190). Legitimate lotteries don’t require any of these things – the only money you give them is the one you paid for the ticket upfront, and they never ask for funds in advance of paying out prize money.
4. Who is the person contacting you?
It’s important to know that lottery officials aren’t usually the ones to contact the winners – if you want to get your hands on the prize you have to do all the hard work yourself. Even if we lived in a world where things happened the other way around, you could still have lotto scam exposed. The most important thing is to do thorough research – use the internet to find websites of legitimate lotteries and see the prizes they’ve offered in latest drawings. If you’ve got an e-mail with a free webmail-based e-mail account, it’s usually a fake since approved lotteries tend to handle their correspondence with the public in a more professional manner.
5. What information is safe to share?
The answer to this question is usually, “None.” Scammers tend to ask for as much information as possible – from full name, address and date of birth in order to try forging documents using your personal data, to your credit card number and online account details. If you think you’re being scammed there’s no need to make any contact with the fake lottery official, because the real ones ask for your information as you’re claiming the prize, not before.