Prize and contest scams

Which is fake?

Which of these emails is more obviously a fake lottery scam?
  • This one
  • This one

“Congratulations! You have just won a free holiday in sunny Mexico!”

Many are tempted by the excitement of a “free” prize or the possibility of winning a contest. But all too often those who play along learn the prize is fake or there are hidden charges to participate. Learn how to identify and guard against prize and contest scams.

Spot the scam

Prevent problems

Who can help

  • This information applies to British Columbia, Canada
  • Reviewed for legal accuracy in July 2019
  • Time to read: 3 minutes

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We are grateful to work on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, whose Peoples continue to live on and care for these lands.