There is barely a month to go until the most important lottery draw of the year in Spain, the Christmas lottery draw, takes place. And as the date approaches, the purchase of lottery tickets will increase massively.
According to the Spanish National Police, these days the potential risk of being a victim of fraud in the purchase of tickets also increases, along with problems when it comes to collecting some prizes, doubts about the secure acquisition of tickets on the internet, and scams related to the collection of false prizes.
To clarify some doubts, the Spanish Police warn about the most widespread scams on the occasion of the Christmas Lottery draw. And they offer on their website 10 tips to avoid being a victim of this type of fraud.
Remember: to win, you have to play
One of the most common scam attempts occurs when the victim receives a phone call, a text message, an email or a message through social networks.
The message seems to come from a trusted public institution and tells us that we have been awarded a prize from a draw in which we have not even participated. The intention of the scammers can be to get control of our private or banking data. Sometimes they even request a money transfer as a 'fee' to access the prize, or with any other excuse.
In this type of situation, you should avoid calling any number because they are usually premium rate numbers located outside the country and you do not have to click on the web links that they propose. And of course, never send money to scammers.
When communications arrive in writing, they can also be identified as false because they often have numerous spelling mistakes and poor writing.
Sale of fake tickets
Buying Lottery tickets can also become an excuse for scammers. All tickets must be purchased from authorized sellers to avoid counterfeiting. Buyers should always check that the ticket has the logo, the code, the stamp of the vending entity or that it indicates that it is an authorized fractioning of a ticket.
Sometimes, criminals use the Internet to pretend to be authorized sellers through fraudulent websites. The official sales pages must have a URL (web address) with the characters https, whose “s” indicates that it is a trustworthy page.
If the sellers do not indicate from where the postal delivery of your purchase is produced, the price, a reliable means of contact with the company and the delivery date, it is possible that it is an attempted scam.
'Tocomocho' or scam of the winning number
Despite being almost as old as the Christmas Lottery draw itself, many people continue to report being victims of this old-school scam.
The 'Tocomocho' scam, which comes from the Spanish expression “Tocó mucho", occurs when the victim is approached on the street by a stranger with the excuse of having a winning lottery ticket and not being able to collect the money for some reason.
The victim is often shown a fake list of winning tickets where the number that they have previously shown appears. Scammers offer the fake winning ticket in exchange for a large sum of money. If the victim agrees, they accompany them to their home or bank, collect the agreed amount and give them the lottery ticket that is not actually awarded.
The victims of this scam are usually the elderly. But be careful, because although many may think that it is easy to identify scammers, they are true professionals who act quickly and are very credible.
Ten tips from the Police to avoid scams
- Buy the Lottery tickets for the draw only in authorized sites, either in physical establishments or online.
- If you make your purchase on the Internet, save the emails related to it and take screenshots of the management if necessary.
- Be suspicious of the messages you receive informing you that you have been awarded in a draw that you do not know and in which you have not participated.
- Check that your tenth has the logo, the code and all the verification elements.
- When you share a Lottery ticket with friends or family, photocopy it and write down who participates in that purchase and how much each of them plays.
- Try to keep the ticket in perfect condition, because its deterioration could create problems in case of being awarded. And remember that awards expire after three months.
- Take a picture of your ticket or write down in a safe place the number, the series and the elements that help you to identify it if you lose it.
- Report the loss or theft of your ticket at any police station, in addition to notifying Loterías y Apuestas del Estado.
- If you have been the victim of a scam, do not hesitate to report it by providing all the information you have about the perpetrators and their way of operating.
- And if you have not been a victim of fraud but have information about one, report it at www.policia.es