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March 27, 2024

March is Fraud Prevention month — Lottery and Prize Scams

man looking upset after being scammed.

Throughout the month of March the Grey Bruce Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will be focusing on the most common frauds being reported.

The Grey Bruce OPP is seeing an increase in the number of calls for service regarding the lottery and prize scams.

Many Canadians find themselves becoming scam victims, thanks to the excitement of a surprise win or to claim prizes from fake lotteries, sweepstakes, or contests. Phone calls, an email, text messages and pop-up messages on your computer or laptop may make claims that the offer is legal and that there are relatively minor costs to claim the 'big' prize. By responding, you may lose everything you send to a scammer and - if you have provided other personal details - your identity information could be stolen to support other crimes.

Tips to help you recognize a lottery or prize scam:

  • Never send money to anybody you don't know and trust.
  • You should not have to pay money to receive a prize.
  • Don't provide personal banking details to anyone that you do not know and trust.
  • Examine all the terms and conditions of any offer very carefully. Claims of free or very cheap offers often have hidden costs. Calls to premium rate phone numbers or premium text messages can be very expensive.
  • Ask yourself, "Did I willingly enter this contest?"

To avoid becoming a victim, police advise you to first check with another family member or trusted friend to verify the information BEFORE sending money or providing credit card information by phone or e-mail. It is vitally important that the incident be reported every time it occurs, to allow police to investigate and prevent others from becoming victims.

If you or someone you know may have been the victim of a lottery or prize scam, contact your local police service or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), and report to the Candadian Anit-fraud Centre Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca).

FRAUD…Recognize it…Report it…Stop it.

 


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