Imagine being informed via email that you have won $100 000 (R757 000) in cash. The email includes a picture of former president Nelson Mandela holding the World Cup trophy, as well as Fifa and 2010 SA World Cup logos. The sender gives a UK contact number and "advises" you to file a claim. Then he asks you to deposit R6 500 into a Nedbank bank account for stamp duty and legal fees.
And just like that you become a victim of the "Fifa 2010 World Cup Lottery draw" scam.
Recently exposed by the Cape Times, the police say that it is similar to a "Nigerian 419 scam" and they and the Nelson Mandela Foundation are warning people to beware of these con artists.
Nedbank also released a statement this month informing the public that the account has been closed and the matter referred to the police for investigation, but how can you protect yourself against lottery scams?
Looking for advice? Why not ask a Justmoney Expert?
Consumer Fraud Reporting gives the following tips:
- You cannot win a legitimate lottery if you have not entered it.
- In almost all cases you must purchase a ticket to enter a legitimate lottery.
- You never have to pay to collect winnings from a legitimate lottery. You pay taxes AFTER you you receive the winnings. There are no other fees.
- If you hold a winning lottery ticket, you notify the lottery (they do not notify you; not by email, not by phone, not by mail).
- Since scammers simply invent new names for their fake lottery scams, it is more accurate to say that if you do not see the lottery on the list of legitimate lotteries, it is probably a scam.
- If it isn't conducted by a government or government-authorized charitable organization, it can't be a legitimate lottery.