It goes without saying that everyone wishes they could win the Powerball lottery. As such, if you get notified that you have won a great deal of money, your natural instinct is going to be the desire to believe that this correspondence is genuine. The problem is that scammers know this and will do what they can to take advantage of you.
Powerball scams are growing more prevalent and cleverer every day. Scams come in all shapes and forms: Facebook messages, emails, texts, phone calls and even via good 0ld-fashioned snail mail.
With that in mind, we have decided to expose some of the most popular Powerball scams so that you can protect yourself and your finances.
Popular Powerball Scams to Look For
Lottery Winner Email Scam
One of the most popular Powerball scams is to email people telling them that they have won a huge Powerball prize. To identify this kind of scam, the email will probably ask you for a handling fee so you can receive your prize.
Sometimes, you may even get a check in return to reimburse you for the upfront handling fee. However, the checks are likely to bounce and never reimburse the money you spent.
This is just one example of an email scheme, but there are hundreds more out there. A general rule to remember is that legitimate lotteries will never ask you to pay a handling fee for you to receive your prize.
Facebook Powerball Scams
Next, to never ask you for an upfront handling fee, lotteries also don’t give prize money away on Facebook. One of the ways this scam works is that you might see some links circulating the feed that claims to connect you to money.
Another method is a Facebook text message donation scam. Victims will receive a message from an unnamed agency promoting some social cause. They will text you that you have been randomly selected for a grand Powerball prize, but in order to get your prize money, you have to give them your Facebook address, email, and passwords.
Other versions of this scam will pretend that they are a real Powerball winner and want to share their winnings in return for your personal information.
In general, you want to be cautious of clicking on links that you don’t recognize. Moreover, avoid sharing sensitive personal information, passwords and banking information with any online source, unless it is a familiar, legitimate online retailer.
Another tell-tale sign of a Powerball scam is a phishing email. Typically, official emails from Powerball representatives arrive shortly after the draw is done and usually contains the winning numbers and jackpot amount.
If you receive an email at any other time other than after the regular draw dates (Wednesday & Saturday 11 PM EST), you should consider it a phishing scam.
Spotting a lottery scam does not have to be difficult. Most of the time, you just have to pay attention to the details. For example, scam letters, messages, and emails might contain bad grammar, bad spelling, inconsistent prize descriptions, or the use of a US Powerball logo to make it seem legitimate.
In general, you want to avoid messages that say you were chosen at random, ask you for sensitive personal information, or come from an address that has no connection to the lottery whatsoever. These are just a few of the warning signs you should look out for to help you identify potential scams.
All that being said, we hope this article has given you the means to identify a possible Powerball scam. This way you don’t have to be appearing in the papers as the next victim of a lottery scam!
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