When the Millions, Football and Lottery Come Together
Whenever the word “millions” is included in the title of a so-called lottery, people are likely to throw all caution out the window. That’s how yet another scam has come into existence – the EuroMillions FIFA World Cup Lottery. It brings three fun things together – millions, football and the lottery. The problem? None of these promises are true.
A UK senior couple has become one of the numerous victims.
They received a quite official-looking letter from the EuroMillions FIFA Lottery. The couple was informed that they had won 725,000 pounds, which could be claimed after paying a 7,250-pound fee and a 2,000-pound tax for a solicitor to transfer the money.
This is far from an isolated incident and far from a unique scam proposition. According to a BBC report, British people lose 3.5 billion pounds in scams each year. This translates into a 70-pound loss per person in the country on an annual basis. You may think that only the elderly and naïve individuals are victimized, but the truth is quite different. According to official information, the people that most commonly fall for such “opportunities” belong to the 35 to 44 age group.
The Anatomy of a Scam
The letters that the “lucky” victims get is supposedly issued by an official lottery located in Zurich, Switzerland. An office in London is also mentioned for prize-claiming purposes. It’s a real address where numerous companies have their headquarters.
Just like many other scams, it runs on the presumption that people could claim a prize without even having bought a lottery ticket. As old and tired as this system seems to be, there are still people eager to get their hands on some easy cash.
On top of asking for the fees and taxes, the letter contains a form that needs to be filled out for the prize to be claimed. The “winners” are asked to disclose some personal information, as well as their bank account number.
After the initial fee is transferred, the fraudsters continue periodically asking for additional sums. You may think that it would be silly for people to continue sending money in hopes of getting those millions, but the scam has deprived many gullible individuals of thousands of pounds.
Final Award Notification
Just like numerous other similar scams, EuroMillions FIFA World Cup creates a sense of urgency, sending the recipients in an immediate panic mode.
The letter is titled Final Award Notification, and it comes from the Desk of the Vice President of International Lotto Promotions. It says that the name of the recipient has been attached to a specific lottery ticket number. The letter even goes a step further to point out how the EuroMillions FIFA World Cup lottery is linked to official national lotteries in various European countries. Now, this should be evidence enough that the opportunity is legitimate, right?
A contact name is provided for lottery prize claiming. And of course – the letter concludes with a date by which the large amount should be claimed. Otherwise, the lucky winners that didn’t even buy a ticket can wave their non-existent jackpot goodbye.
The EuroMillions FIFA World Cup letter even concludes with a phone number that can be used for claiming the money immediately. A stamp and a signature seal the deal, giving the message the official weight that it needs to fool people.
If You Don’t Buy the Ticket, You Can’t Claim the Prize
In the chance that you ever find the dreaded EuroMillions FIFA World Cup letter in your mailbox, you should immediately alert the authorities about it. Don’t disclose any personal information, especially your bank account number. The only thing you’ll end up winning is a headache after you send out the so-called processing fee money.
It’s not possible to win money from a lottery that you haven’t entered. That’s the first and the most visible sign of a scam. The fact that you’re given an urgent deadline by which the amount needs to be collected is the second obvious giveaway sign.
Don’t call the phone number included in the letter. You will be asked to share personal and financial information via phone, which will, later on, be used against you.
No official lottery will ever contact people to tell them that they’re winners. It goes the other way around. Winners are supposed to monitor draws, check the results, and determine whether their ticket is eligible for any prize.
If you feel confused and you don’t know how to handle the letter, contact the Citizen Advice consumer service. You’ll be told how to handle the situation and whether you need to call the Action Fraud hotline (0300-123-2040).
The Action Fraud website features a ton of additional useful information that can be used to recognize a lottery scam. It also lists the steps that need to be undertaken to guarantee personal safety and reduce the likelihood of serious financial losses.