Just like other online scams, lottery scams come as fake emails and are a subcategory of phishing scams. Their purpose is to convince victims that they have won big prizes in a lottery. In fact, cybercrooks try to obtain money from uninformed or unaware users. Attackers ask their victims to pay some fees in advance for alleged lottery winnings. Usually, they disguise their messages as ones from well-known lottery companies.
In this article, we will let you know how to recognize such scams and protect yourself.
What are these scams?
As their name says, lottery scams are attempts to scam people to pay money into the attackers’ accounts. The way they work is pretty simple.
In order to achieve their goals, hackers send emails to potential victims, announcing that they won large amounts of money. Sometimes, they might pretend that the prize is a free trip to an exotic destination. But the list is much longer, and it may include lots of other valuable prizes, such as expensive cars, jewellery, etc.
To make sure they get their victims curious, attackers usually highlight the value of the prizes. Thus, the temptation to get valuable things grows significantly for the users.
This is the moment attackers count on. Once users become curious, they might be tempted to do quite a lot of things to get their ‘prizes’.
So, hackers will pretend that, in order to receive their prizes, victims should pay a few small fees. These fees might seem small, compared to the prices of the prizes. In fact, they ask for quite a lot of money.
If a victim pays one or more of these fees, they never hear from the organization again.
How to protect yourself against lottery scams?
In order to stay safe, you need to know the main warning signs. The first one is that you are announced that you won a prize from a lottery that you did not enter. Then, the value of the prizes is incredibly high. The last thing that should alert you is that attackers ask for payments, in order to receive the prize.
So, the best way to stay away from these scams is to:
- Never click on unexpected or annoying pop-ups.
- Never access any links that you find in emails coming from unknown senders.
- Never accept to make payments in order to receive prizes.
Use an ad blocker, which will prevent pop-ups and other ads from reaching your browser. Thus, you will stay away from rogue ads for lottery scams.