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Lottery Scam Circulates Using Big Winners’ Names

Last Updated: Wednesday 11th May 2016, 10:18

With a Lotto jackpot of £6.1 million available this evening, players across the UK will be dreaming of boosting their bank account with a seven-figure sum. However, lottery fans are being warned to be vigilant, as a scam email is circulating offering the chance to get rich quick, but which could in fact see them left out of pocket.

The message falsely claims to be from £33 million Lotto winners David and Carol Martin who, it says, are looking to donate £1 million to recipients through a charitable foundation. The communication claims the couple from Hawick in the Scottish Borders, who snapped up the life-changing amount on Saturday 9th January, have set up a charitable foundation and victims are encouraged to fill in personal details in order to receive the cash.

Fraudulently using the names of recent public lottery winners in this manner is a common tactic employed by scammers, with the couple who claimed the UK’s biggest-ever jackpot also cited in a malicious campaign. Colin and Christine Weir of Largs, Ayrshire pocketed £161.6 million on EuroMillions in July 2011 and soon after their identity was used for fraudulent purposes. However, the Weirs eventually did set up a legitimate charitable trust to provide donations to good causes across Scotland with proper processes set up for those looking to apply for funding.   

Often victims are informed they must pay taxes or a handling fee to receive the funds from this sort of scam. If they pay these sums, the criminals will disappear with the cash and they will never receive their ‘donation’. Other scams encourage recipients to click links that may take them to websites containing malware, allowing the fraudster to access the personal details stored in the victim’s computer.

The email using the Martins’ names was brought to the attention of The Mirror by Matt Casey of Washington, Tyne and Wear. He told the newspaper that the title read ‘You have been chosen’, stating, “as soon as it arrived I thought, ‘that’s definitely a scam.’” The police have issued advice for anyone receiving such messages, with a spokesman saying, “we would advise members of the public to never give out any personal information, particularly bank details, following this type of correspondence.”

To find out more about tactics employed by scammers, take a look at the Lottery Scams page. Don’t forget that you can buy Lotto tickets online or from authorised retailers for a legitimate way to win big today!

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