If you can be certain of one thing in life apart from death and taxes, it is the impossibility of winning a lottery that you have not bought a ticket for. Surprisingly, some people do fall for scams like these.
Over the past few weeks we have received reports of emails and letters being sent advising the recipients they have almost become a Euro millionaire: Their numbers have been drawn and a prize of €915,810 has been won.
The reason the emails have been sent to people who have not even bought a ticket is because these campaigns are sent randomly. The perpetrators of the campaign do not know who has bought a ticket, but a percentage of lottery ticket holders will receive the email if enough are sent.
A holder of a ticket may respond even if an email address was not provided when buying a ticket. Hope gets the better of common sense sometimes. The thrill of potentially having won over €900,000 helps in this regard.
The Spanish lottery scam nets criminals millions of Euros
A check for this sum is not issued for security reasons. The money can only be claimed by supplying bank information. The lottery company must use a bank transfer to provide the winnings. Sometimes, the lucky winner will have to cover some “administrative costs” in order to receive their prize. A charge of a few Euros is nothing compared to a €915,810 payout. Those charges are often more than just a few Euros, but the money is still paid.
This particular scam, or variants of it, are commonly sent by Nigerian criminal gangs. In the case of the postal version, a Nigerian postmark would be a giveaway. The letters are naturally all emailed from Spain. In fact, Spanish criminals have also started using this type of scam to defraud victims. The Guardia Civil recently took down a large gang of criminals who were running scams of this nature. Millions of Euros were recovered.
If you receive an email telling you that you have won a large sum of money, here are some easy ways to tell if the email is not genuine:
- You did not buy a lottery ticket
- You did not supply an email address
- You have never heard of the company you are asked to contact
- The email contains grammatical errors and spelling mistakes
- You are given a strict, and short, time limit for claiming your prize
- You are asked to supply sensitive information to verify your identity
- You need to pay an administration fee in order to claim your prize
- You are asked to click on a link contained in the email to confirm your identity
We wish you the best of luck. And if you want to win a prize, remember to buy a ticket and check the numbers personally!