Lottery Fraud

Members of the public continue to receive letters connected to the scams known as the Spanish and Canadian lotteries.  Both promise recipients vast sums in return for upfront fees listed as administration costs, exchange rate differentials and taxes.

The following bullet points are strong indicators of a fraudulent letter:

  • You need to be ‘in it to win it’.  If you haven’t bought a ticket, it’s not genuine.
  • Your name is on the envelope, but not on the letter.  These ‘winning’ letters are produced en masse without any personalisation.
  • Genuine lottery winnings are tax-free and no reputable organisation would ask for money to secure the prize.

The latest variation involves letters purporting to be from the British Red Cross and Action Against Hunger UK, giving the impression that the recipient has won £500,000.   It is, needless to say, a complete scam.

Anyone in receipt of such communications should in the first instance contact the Office of Fair Trading who provide consumer advice in relation to such scams.  They can be contacted by visiting the website

Please click on the image to enlarge this example of a Spanish Lottery Fraud letter.  Note the telephone number starts with a 6 after the international dialling code.  In Spain, this signifies it’s a mobile number and unlikely to be from a genuine office-based organisation.

About Jason Lessard