Action Fraud is warning people to watch out for Lottery scams taking advantage of the Olympics to trick people into parting with their money.
With the Olympic Games now underway, Action Fraud is receiving a number of reports from people who have been victims of ‘Olympics Lottery’ scams. The scam commonly involves a letter, email or text message that claims to be associated with the UK National Lottery and the International Olympic Committee.
One such scam features the logos of both organisations and tries to trick people into believing they have won an online lottery prize of £1 million, out of a total lottery prize fund of £18 million.
In this example, the ‘prize’ is being held by the ‘UK Treasury Dept’ and the recipient is asked to call a mobile phone number or pass on personal details such as bank account and passport information by email. These details can be used by criminals to commit fraud. Other methods involve requesting a fee to be paid up front in order to process and release the non-existent prize.
Follow these tips to protect yourself from lottery fraud:
• Be aware - There is no ‘Olympics Lottery’. Never respond to any such communication. If you haven’t entered a lottery then you can’t have won it.
• Official lotteries in other countries operate in much the same way as the UK’s National Lottery. No official lotteries that we know of contact people to tell them of their win.
• We don’t know of any official lottery operators who ask for fees to collect winnings. Any request for a fee payment is a good indication that someone is trying to defraud you.
• Never, ever disclose your bank details or pay fees in advance.
• If they’ve provided an email address to respond to, be very suspicious of addresses such as @hotmail.com or @yahoo.com or numbers beginning with 07 because these are free to get hold of.
• Genuine lotteries thrive on publicity. If they ask you to keep your win a secret it’s likely to be a fraud.
• Many fraudulent lotteries have bad spelling and grammar – see this as a warning that fraudsters are at work.
If you have been the victim of a fraud like this, report it to Action Fraud using our online reporting tool.