Ever since the beginning of major lotteries such as the Mega Millions, there have been people trying to scam people out of their hard-earned pay through lottery scamming. The scammer will always try to obtain personal information such as banking details from the victim, which they will use to empty their bank accounts.
However, if you follow some simple tips, you can significantly reduce the chance that it will be you who is scammed and left in despair.
The Mega Millions Scam
Recently, Mega Millions identified that there has been a new bout of scamming using the Mega Millions name to entice unsuspecting victims into parting with their private information and banking details. The scam begins by claiming that the victim has won a large sum of money in the Mega Millions, with the person in the email or phone call claiming to be a program co-ordinator for the Mega Millions.
Lottery Scams in General
This scam is typical of phone or email scams involving lotteries. The victim of the scam is contacted, most commonly by telephone or email.
The victims are promised vast fortunes in winnings of legitimate lotteries (such as the Mega Millions) or ones that the victim is not likely to know exist (such as bogus lotteries from other countries). However, in order to be able to claim these riches, the victim must first give their personal information, with their banking details being the primary target for the scammers. Once the victim gives over this information, the scammers rapidly use it to drain the bank accounts of the victim, leaving them with no funds or even in huge amounts of debt within a matter of minutes.
It is important to note that in most legitimate lotteries, you will not be contacted by any member of the organisation that runs the lottery. The employees of the companies running the lotteries such as the Mega Millions rarely know who has won a draw. It is your responsibility as a player to claim any winnings that you have managed to obtain by having a winning ticket. More importantly, remember that you cannot win any lottery that you have not entered.
5 Tips to Help Avoid Being Scammed
Apart from the advice listed above, there are 5 things to remember and actions you can take to protect yourself from being the victim of a scam:
- Use caller-ID on your telephone. If you receive a call claiming that you have won a lottery based in the United States (such as the Mega Millions) but the call comes from another country, they are scamming you.
- Be aware that even with caller-ID, scammers may use technology that changes how their telephone number appears. So, even if a number appears to be from within the United States, be wary.
- Do not give out your personal information, especially your banking details. Even if they say that the prize can be transferred directly into your account, do not give any details away.
- No real lottery forces their players to pay a fee in order to collect your winnings. If you are told that you need to transfer money in order to collect your winnings, do not do it.
- If you are told to keep your win to yourself, be careful. A legitimate lottery would not need you to keep quiet.
In the digital world in which we live, scams such as the recent Mega Millions scam are rampant, and we must all be more and more vigilant to guard against them. However, with the help of the 5 tips we have given you, you will be more prepared for scammers when they come at you. Remember, you can always put down the phone or delete the email.