Today we answer a lottery price scam query.
I recently received a letter telling me that I have won a prize with the Spanish Lottery. I have been asked to make contact with a particular phone number to receive instructions on how to claim my prize. I have never been to Spain but my son holidayed there a couple of years ago. My son has told me that this is a scam but I am reluctant to ignore a potential lottery win. I would appreciate your advice.
I am afraid that I agree with your son. This is a common enough scam where you will receive contact by letter, phone or social media advising you that you have won a lot of money or a fantastic prize in a competition or lottery that you don’t recall entering, often an international lottery.
You may be asked to pay a fee to allow you claim your prize. You are likely to be told that these fees are required for insurance costs, government taxes, bank fees etc. The scammers make money by continually collecting these fees from you and stalling the payment of your “winnings”.
You may also be asked to provide personal details to prove that you are the correct winner and to give your bank account details so the prize can be sent to you. Scammers will then use these details to try to steal any money you have in your bank account.
It has been known for scammers to send a cheque for part of your winnings, such as a few thousand euro, to trick you into thinking the offer is legitimate. However this cheque will eventually bounce and you will not receive any real payments.
My advice to you would be to simply bin the letter. If you have already provided your bank account details to the scammer, contact your bank immediately.