Many people are encourage by the thrill of a surprise win and find themselves parting with large amounts of money in order claim fake prizes. Often victims of this particular scam are the elderly and vulnerable. There is a huge range and variety of mass market mail, some of which will be obviously fraudulent and other that will not. Whatever the case you should always be wary of what you reply to.
What you should know
- Jersey Post now has a dedicated PO Box 500 that you can mail your scam mail directly to the States of Jersey Police to make them aware of the scam mail that you are receiving. They can then build a picture about the people and businesses behind all the scams and work with other agencies around the world to tackle the scammers.
- You cannot win money or a prize if you have not entered in to it. You cannot be chosen at random if you do not have an entry.
- Many mass market scams will trick you in to parting with money or providing your banking or personal details in the belief that you will win a cash prize. You do not have to pay a fee to claim a legitimate prize.
- It can only take a single response to a scammer to be inundated with further scam mail our name and address will be included on what’s known as a ‘sucker’s list’ and you may receive large amounts of scam mail on a daily basis.
- A fake prize scam will tell you that you have won a prize or competition. You may receive confirmation of this by post, email or text message. There will often be costs involved in claiming the prize and even if you receive a prize it may not be what was promised to you.
- Psychic and clairvoyant scams can also be used to set you up to fall for a lottery scam. If a scam gives you a list of lucky lottery numbers, don’t be surprised if you receive a letter soon afterwards telling you that you’ve just won a lottery you have never heard of and do not remember entering. This is all part of the scam.
- Be aware that items advertised in the post you receive may be marketed as ‘high quality and exclusive goods’ but in reality can be extremely poor value for money. Another marketing technique is to offer a share of a cash prize but to win you must place an order for goods that in fact are not value for money.
- Be wary when sending money to, or receive money from, someone you do not know or trust. This may be a ploy by the scammer to get you to pass money through your bank account that could be stolen from someone else’s account.
- Technically you may be money laundering and become what is known as a ‘money mule’. If convicted you could be sent to prison and having a criminal conviction can make it difficult for you to obtain financial products in the future and may affect your job prospects
Genuine lotteries will not ask you to pay a fee to collect your winnings
Never send money abroad or to someone you don’t know or trust
Don’t provide banking or personal details to someone you don’t know or trust
Examine all of the terms and conditions of any offer very carefully