How to recognize a lottery scam or an inheritance scam
Both scams are similar in that you may receive an unsolicited call, text, email or social media message advising that you’ve won a lottery or inherited money. You’ll then be asked to pre-pay taxes or fees owed on your newfound cash. These are elaborate schemes that can sound appealing as you are promised millions in cash (mega millions scams) and you only have to pay a few hundred dollars to receive it. If you fall for this scam, the only money you receive will be in the form of a counterfeit check or funds stolen from another victim.
How to avoid a lottery or an inheritance scam
Knowing how to spot a fake giveaway and protecting your personal information are effective methods in avoiding these types of scams. Here are some easy-to-remember tips.
Avoid foreign lotteries.Invitations to participate in foreign lotteries are an obvious red flag. And playing legitimate lotteries via the mail or over the phone violates federal law.
Look for a personal touch.Does the correspondence include your name? If the message begins with “Dear Valued Customer,” it’s best to ignore it.
Look for unprofessionalism. Poorly written letters, typos and misspellings are almost always indicative of a scam.
Don’t give out personal information.If the correspondence asks personal banking information, it’s quite likely a scam.