Scamwatch: new fake lottery fraud

Jess Bown
Scamwatch: new fake lottery fraud
Scamwatch: new fake lottery fraud

Stay one step ahead of the fraudsters with our series of articles giving you the lowdown on the scams they use to trick people out of their hard-earned cash - and how to avoid being taken in by them.

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This week, we lift the lid on a new lottery scam designed to trick people into paying to claim their prize money.

How does it work?

A pensioner from Glasgow has raised the alarm about a new lottery scam after being targeted by fraudsters who told him he had won £300,000.

Earlier this month, Frank Murray received a letter stating he had won a share of £62 million through the Health Lottery.

The 75-year-old contacted the sender looking to claim his prize of £300,000. However, he soon became suspicious that all was not as it seemed - especially when he was asked to pay £1,000 to process the prize money.

"Eventually he said 'yes, we can process it now, but we will need £1,000 from you for administration and the processing'," Murray told local paper the Evening Times.

"At that point I just got really angry. I knew it was a scam."

How can I avoid being caught out?

You have to be in it to win it. So it is best to ignore any letters, emails, text messages or calls claiming that you have won a competition or lottery you never entered.

Payment requests are another surefire sign you are being conned. Whatever the circumstances, you should never give out personal information or make any kind of payment to someone who contacts you out of the blue.

I've been defrauded. What should I do?

If you are contacted about a lottery or prize draw scam, you should contact the police via Action Fraud (0300 123 2040).

If you have already responded to a message, meanwhile, break off all contact immediately and alert your bank or card provider if you have passed on details that could be used to compromise your account.