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Scams: Lotteries, Sweepstakes and Contests

By Constable Scott Ploughman

Kyle RCMP Detachment

Many Canadians are lured by the excitement of a surprise win and find themselves sending huge amounts of money to claim fake prizes.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

You cannot win money or a prize in a lottery unless you have entered it yourself, or someone else has entered it on your behalf.

You cannot be chosen as a random winner if you don't have an entry.

Many lottery scams try to trick you into providing your banking and personal details to claim your prize. You should not have to pay any fee or tax to claim a legitimate prize.

Don't be fooled by claims that the offer, is legal or has government approval-many scammers will tell you this. Instead of receiving a grand prize or fortune, you will lose every cent that you send to a scammer. And if you have provided other personal details, your identity could be misused too.

A fake prize scam will tell you that you have won a prize or a contest. You may receive a phone call, an email, a text message or see a pop-up screen on your computer. There are often costs involved with claiming your prize, and even if you do receive a prize, it may not be what was promised to you.

The scammers make their money by making you pay fees or taxes, call their premium rate phone numbers or send premium text messages to claim your prize. These premium rate calls can be very expensive, and the scammers will try to keep you on the line for a long time or ask you to call a different premium rate number.

PROTECT YOURSELF

REMEMBER – Legitimate lotteries do not require you to pay a fee or tax to collect winnings

- NEVER send money to anybody you don’t know and trust.

- DON’T provide personal banking details to anyone that you do not know and trust.

- REMEMBER a good rule of thumb is, if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.

Organizations: RCMP

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