Beware of lottery/beneficiary scams

telemarketers on the phone

Lottery/sweepstakes scams

The victims received a phone call/letter or email to say they won a prize but have to send money for duty, taxes, delivery and legal fees. Victims either never hear from the organization again or receive further requests for money.

Remember, you never have to pay to collect winnings from a legitimate lottery. There are no other fees like duty, taxes, insurance, lawyers, delivery or terrorist clearance certificates required by real lotteries operating in Canada.

Often, after a victim has lost a large amount of money, the scammers will call and say they are with the Attorney Generals Department, Interpol, Scotland Yard, Canada Customs or even the RCMP, and will ask for your help. They will say that if you send more money to a mail drop, they will be able to arrest the ringleader of the group in the act and will get all your money back. This is also a part of the scam. Law enforcement officers have nothing to do with these fake lotteries and will never ask you to put up your own money to help in an investigation.

Nigerian beneficiary scam

The contents of a Nigerian beneficiary scam package are often filled with elaborate looking documents/certificates full of spelling mistakes, odd punctuation and poor grammar.

You have to send money to Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia or another African country.

The e-mail addresses are usually free Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, Excite, Live, AIM, Walla, Netscape or other free or odd email accounts.

If something doesn’t look right or there are spelling or grammatical errors, it's a scam!

Avoid becoming a victim

A real lottery company will never ask you to:

Real lottery companies have a real address – not a mailbox. Real lawyers and real banks will also have real addresses.

Recognize it, Report it, Stop it.

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

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