Scams concerning Italian lotteries

Scams concerning lotteries are now very common. As the popularity of lotteries has increased, so have fraud attempts by scammers looking for potential victims all over the world. The SuperEnalotto game has proven reasonably safe in this respect, yet the phenomenon is present. In Italy, it mainly affects foreign bets, since it is more difficult to check the validity of the information and the reliability of those who contact us offering themselves as mediators for the collection of a lottery winnings.

How do scams concerning lotteries take place?

The main ways in which scams are conducted by which someone is wanted to believe that he or she has won the lottery are generally three:

1. Letter by regular mail

Scam attempts that occur by regular mail are very common. Typically, the recipient receives a letter in which he or she is told that he or she has won a prize in a lottery. The recipient of the letter often does not even know the lottery of which he or she would be a winner or, if he or she has heard of it, has not participated in it. The recipient is asked to send his or her personal identification information, such as date of birth and copy of identification, and financial information such as bank account number. They will also be asked to pay or authorize the withdrawal of a sum of money that is justified as a fee to cover administrative expenses. Some letters will ask them to call a telephone number for further details, a number they will later discover has very high connection charges.

2. Electronic mail (e-mail)

E-mail scam attempts are very common. This is a very similar method to regular mail, but in this case the news of the alleged win is delivered by e-mail. Again, the recipient is asked to provide his or her personal information, bank account details, and to pay an administrative fee to have the prize credited.

3. Phone call

Telephone scam attempts follow a more direct process. The scammer calls the potential victim and pretends to be the official of a given lottery in charge of reporting the winning of a very high prize and then he, leveraging the surprise effect, requests personal details such as address, date of birth, and especially ATM, credit card, or bank account numbers. When asked for clarification, generally the scammer will not be caught unprepared and, for example, regarding bank details will say that they are needed to deposit the amount directly into the account.

How to avoid falling victim to a scam

To avoid falling victim to a scam in the first place you must not to respond to scammers, not send your details, and if telephone contact details are provided you must not call them. However, if you have already responded to such communications or sent money, then it may be a good idea to contact the authorities and explain the situation. Unfortunately, in many cases it is difficult to get back money that you did already pay, both because it is not easy to identify the scammers, who often act under false names, and because very often they are in a foreign country, in which the Italian authorities cannot intervene directly.

Other tips

We offer below some helpful hints to avoid scams concerning lotteries:

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