There are games around the world that offer jackpots or other very attractive prizes, and the lotteries in Michigan are no exception. Unfortunately, however, fraud attempts are often carried out in which dishonest people or companies try to convince potential victims, i.e. players who wish to be winners, they have won big lottery prizes.
This type of scam can be implemented in various ways, and the most common are the following:
The potential victim receives an email telling them that they have won a prize in a lottery. The fraudster will try to make the recipient of the message believe that the communication comes from official sources of the lottery in question and, in order to collect the prize, will ask the victim to send their personal data (including details of their bank account). This fraudulent collection procedure usually also includes the payment of an administrative fee, which is justified to cover the costs of collecting the winnings. If the potential victim responds by attaching this information, the scammers will be able to access their sensitive data and their savings.
Although new technology has taken over, fraud attempts arriving by regular mail are still very common. Similar to emails, in this case the potential victim receives a letter through the mail in which the receiver is convinced they have won the lottery. And as in the previous example, also in this case they try to lower the defenses of the victim in such a way as to be able to access their sensitive data, asking them to send personal details and bank details, in addition to paying a fraudulent administrative fee to allow the payment of the winnings - which obviously will not happen.
In this case the potential victim is contacted by a telephone call in which the scammer pretends to be a lottery official and announces the winnings of a prize. Obviously, they hope that the victim will fall for it, perhaps taken aback because of the element of surprise, and that they pass on their personal and banking data. The fake lottery official will justify the request by stating that this data is needed to start the procedure of collecting the prize, but in reality they will use them to steal money from the victim.
In many cases the lottery mentioned by the scammers is that of another country, and this is due to the fact that with a foreign lottery it is more difficult for the potential victim to check the information provided by the false official of this lottery and find out who is behind it. In this method, the presence of an intermediary is used and the request for payment of an administrative fee to cover the costs of payment of the prize.
What to do if you think you are being scammed
If someone has contacted you by email, regular mail or by phone telling you that you have won a prize in some lottery, do not forget two important details:
- You cannot win in any lottery that you have never entered. If you have participated in that game, remember that the play you made is valid only for the competition for which it was purchased.
- If you have really won a lottery prize, whatever it is, there are no administrative fees to pay in order to cash out your winnings. Once the collection request has been sent to the official lottery dealer, the premium payment office will credit you the winnings according to the established procedures (after making the necessary tax deductions).
If you think you have been chosen as a potential victim of an attempt at fraud, the wisest choice is to not respond to scammers, not give them the requested information and throw away the scam messages received.