Online money scams have been around for decades. Out of these scams, the lottery scam is one of the oldest. In spite of the fact that it has been around for many years, people are still falling for them and here are the reasons for it.

How do these scammers do it?

They simply send an email to thousands of people. The lure of big money or some other grand prize attracts quite a few people and their job gets done. They only need few people to respond to their emails for making lots of money.

Money scams often originate from countries which are far away from your own. For example, you could be based in UK and the scammer could be from Australia. The email might even contain a subject like “Australian lotto”. The question is why would an Australian lottery send an email to a UK citizen?

The scammers go to the extent of telling the recipient to keep the “winnings” private. Why do they do this? If a person goes around telling everybody that he has won some email lottery, at least some of them will express doubts or concerns. Some will directly say that these are money scams. This is exactly what the scammers don’t want.

Lotteries are actually illegal in the US, UK, Canada and most other developed countries. Any citizen of any of these countries is violating several laws by playing in a foreign lottery. Lotteries in these countries can only be conducted by the government or by certain charities with prior approval.

What happens if you reply to a lottery scam email?

The scammers will reply back. They don’t want to lose you for sure. Money scams only succeed when you reply with all the information they are asking for.

“Congratulations on winning the lottery. Thank you for your reply. This is to inform you that you have passed the email verification test and that you will be awarded the prize soon. We have to conduct this email test in accordance with our terms and conditions. Hence, you are cleared for payment by the fund releasing department of the Australian Government National Lottery. Your winnings have been signed and have been readied for release at our headquarters. They have been approved for release by the attorney to the Australian Government National Lottery.

Your winning certificate is AUS/RTYU678

Your transfer number is ELPC/YH/456”

Does anything about that reply sound legitimate at all?

This is just one small example of a reply by scammers. Their replies are usually long and end with a request for all your information. There might be even a “confidentiality notice” attached to the end of the email to make it look official.

How do these money scams get your email ids?

  • Viruses
  • Malwares
  • Spywares
  • Business directories
  • Advertisements
  • Online forums
  • Online chat rooms
  • Social networking profiles
  • Trade journals
  • Magazines
  • Phonebooks (Offline or online)

Is it possible to keep your names away from so many different sources? No it is not. The best thing is to use common sense and avoid these money scams.