Example EuroMillions Scam
Below is an example of just one of the many scam emails in circulation. The information given below shows that any approach of this kind, however well written or enticingly presented, is simply an attempt to defraud you. View the Scams page for more information about different types of EuroMillions scams.
- The email is not from an official lottery website. Anyone can set up an account with free web clients such as Gmail and Outlook, and it can be done anonymously. Although the display name says “EuroMillions Lottery”, this is not an indication that the email is from a legitimate source, as display names can be set by the user.
- The message doesn’t address the recipient by name, and instead just says “Dear Winner”. This is so scammers can send a large number of emails in a short amount of time.
- A quick internet search would show that the “Euromillions International Global Sweepstakes” does not exist, so the message can be disregarded as a scam without having to go any further.
- The email quotes meaningless ticket numbers in an effort to sound legitimate.
- No genuine lottery provider would ask you to provide personal details in order to claim a prize. For any legitimate prize claims, any security checks or ticket validations will only be carried out once you, the prize winner, have initiated the claim process.
- A request for payment is the most telling sign that a message is fraudulent. You would never be asked to pay a fee or tax by a legitimate lottery provider, and you should treat any message that does so as a scam, regardless of the reason it gives.
- There is a time limit to the claim. This is to encourage targets to act without thinking, and takes advantage of the fact that many people would be too afraid of missing out on a significant sum of money to hesitate.
- There is no such thing as the “European government”. Look out for inconsistencies or mistakes like this, as they simply wouldn’t appear in correspondence from a professional organisation such as a national lottery.
- Don’t ever send bank details, or any other personal financial information, to unknown correspondents. If you do give out your details, contact your bank immediately to notify them.
- The message makes reference to an employee or operator of the fictional lottery. This is purely in a bid to sound authentic and to encourage trust in the recipient. Notice how the email address is not connected to the name they’ve given in any way.
- Scammers will encourage targets not to tell anyone about the message. This is because the fewer people that know about it, the less chance that it will be discovered as fraudulent. If you do ever win the lottery, it is completely up to you who you tell, and when.
- Poor spelling and grammar suggests that the message hasn’t come from a legitimate source. While one spelling error might not be enough in itself to reveal a message as fake, consistently poor use of the English language should be taken as a red flag.
- Scammers may use the address of a legitimate website to make their message seem more genuine. Euro-Millions.com would only ever contact you if you have registered to our website and agreed to receive email communications from us, and we would never contact you to notify you about a prize you have won.
- The disclaimer doubles down on the need to keep the message confidential by threatening legal action. For people not accustomed to receiving messages with this language in them, this could be disconcerting and could be enough to encourage them not to share the news of their apparent win.
- The email signature is used for credibility, but these can easily be copied and pasted from other legitimate sources. It states that the email has been “checked for viruses” to reassure the recipient that the message is safe.