EuroMillions Lottery Scams
First and foremost - it is NOT possible to win a EuroMillions prize, raffle, sweepstake or competition that you have not entered.
Lottery scams are used to gain money or personal information from you by tricking you into believing you have won a large amount of money in a lottery or sweepstakes. They most commonly come in the form of letters, emails, or phone calls, but fraudsters are constantly devising new ways of delivering them.
Whichever method is used, the scams will claim that either you, your mobile number, or your email address has been 'randomly selected' to win a prize.
Some of them may send a communication informing you of a win from a made-up lottery that uses famous brand names in an attempt to make it sound more legitimate. An example of this is the Google Online Sweepstakes, which has been cited in some scams and is definitely not a real lottery.
The format of these scams may vary but the aim is always the same: to persuade you to pay a processing fee or taxes in order to claim your fictitious prize, or for you to provide personal information which may then be used for identity theft.
Some scammers also sell fake lottery tickets, usually over the phone. Targets are encouraged to pay for their entries up front, but the tickets never materialise. You should only ever buy lottery tickets from trusted websites or retailers, and never from unknown sources.
You should only ever buy lottery tickets from trusted websites or retailers, and never from unknown sources. If you play online, you may receive a legitimate email notifying you of a genuine win, but this will always come from the same provider that you used to take part.
If your suspicions are raised by a phone call, letter, SMS message or email you have received, the following information will be useful.
How to Identify a EuroMillions Lottery Scam
- It is not possible to win a EuroMillions prize, raffle, sweepstake or competition that you have not entered. If you receive a notification informing you that you have won a prize in a game you have never played, it is a scam.
- To win a EuroMillions prize, you must have purchased a ticket for the correct draw date and your number selection must match the balls required to win the relevant prize.
- You do not win EuroMillions prizes based on randomly selected mobile phone numbers or email addresses, including for games which you did not enter.
- EuroMillions will not ask you to pay any type of 'fee' to receive your prize.
- EuroMillions will not ask you to pay the 'tax' due on the win in advance of receiving a prize.
Clues to Identify a Scam
All of the points listed below are usually a good indication that the winning notification you have received is a scam:
- The email has been sent from a free webmail address (for example @hotmail.com, @outlook.com or @yahoo.com) or from an unrelated address that could have been compromised.
- The letter or email does not address you personally but instead starts with something vague like 'Dear Winner'. This may not always be the case, however, so don't assume the message is genuine just because it uses your name.
- Scam letters are often on poor quality, photocopied letterhead (although some will include a genuine business address in an attempt to provide legitimacy). It is worth noting that not all scam letters are of a low quality; scammers are constantly updating and improving technology so their messages may appear more legitimate.
- There is often a strict time limit to claim the 'prize'. This is intended to put the potential victim under pressure and deter them from seeking advice or investigating the matter further.
- Confidentiality is often demanded as a 'condition of winning'. Again, this is to deter the recipient from seeking the advice of friends or family who may be more familiar with this type of scam.
- The communication may contain complicated language and jargon, such as ticket numbers and 'batch' references in an attempt to give the document an 'official' feel.
- Poor spelling, grammar and syntax are usually a good indication that the letter or email is a scam.
- A photocopy of a cheque with your name on it may be contained within the communication to entice you into sending funds, something which real lotteries would never do.
- Some scams may claim to be from Euro-Millions.com, but please remember that we will never contact you under any circumstances to say you have won a prize. Any prize notifications that supposedly originate from Euro-Millions.com are fraudulent.
What to do if you have received a Scam
If you receive a letter or email which claims that you have won a EuroMillions prize, raffle, sweepstake or competition that you have not entered, it is strongly recommend that you:
- Do not send any money
- Do not open any link contained in a suspicious email
- Do not respond to any suspicious email or letter
- Do not disclose any personal or financial information, whether by email, letter or over the phone
- If you have already responded, break off contact with the fraudster immediately
- If you have provided personal or financial details, alert your bank immediately
Whilst law enforcement agencies worldwide are working hard to identify lottery scams and bring their perpetrators to justice, the best way to avoid becoming a victim is to remain vigilant.
Types of EuroMillions Scams
EuroMillions scams can turn the popular dream of winning a jackpot into a costly nightmare. Here are some of the most popular methods used by fraudsters.
The first point of contact is generally made using one of the following approaches:
A letter is sent through the post informing the recipient that they have won a lottery prize and need to register their claim in order for their winnings to be processed.
A 'lottery official' calls the potential victim to tell them about the 'good news' and, during the telephone call, will try to extract a payment and/or bank details under the pretence that a ‘processing fee’ or ‘tax’ needs to be paid.
Some scammers have taken to selling fake lottery tickets over the phone. They will ask for payment upfront, requiring the target to disclose their bank details, but the tickets are never sent as they do not exist.
This approach is similar to direct mail, except the potential victim receives an email informing them of their 'win'. Scam emails often look genuine and could even link back to fraudulent clones of official websites.
Members of social networking sites like Facebook are sent a direct message stating that they have won a lottery or raffle game on a particular website. As with email scams, these will ask for targets to provide personal and/or financial information, or will ask them to click on a link to claim the prize.
A text message is sent informing the recipient that their mobile number was entered into a raffle or lottery and selected at random as the winner.
Examples of Lottery Scams
As more and more people are becoming wise to lottery scams, fraudsters are getting increasingly creative. Here are just some examples of lottery scams you may receive:
Second Chance Lottery/Raffle
Usually based around a rollover draw, the scammer will claim you have won a prize in a 'second chance' EuroMillions draw. EuroMillions does not hold such 'second chance' draws. Unclaimed prizes are always either returned to the prize pool to pay winners in future draws or transferred to the good causes supported by the lottery.
Lottery Winner Trusts
Some scammers are using the names of known charitable lottery winners to try and extract personal information from the intended victim by claiming that the legitimate jackpot winner is looking to donate funds to people who are less fortunate or in need.
Email Provider Lottery
Users of certain email accounts are targeted under the guise of having won a lottery prize sponsored by their email provider.
Anti Terrorism Agency
The victim receives a letter telling them there is a cheque waiting to be sent to them as soon as they pay a fee to an agency that ensures international money transfers over a certain value do not contain funds associated with terrorism.
To see an example of a scam letter received, visit the Example EuroMillions Scam page.