You get a letter in the mail. “You have won a car!" All you have to do to claim the prize is pay a small admin fee. The organizers sound legitimate, a hospital foundation, but you’ve never heard of them. You pay the fee. But you never hear from them again.
This is a fake lottery scam.
Often, there is no prize at all. Even if you do receive a prize, it may not be what was promised to you.
Among the ways these fake lottery scams try to get your money include the following:
You have to call a 1-900 phone number to find out what you’ve "won." You’re charged for that call.
You have to give a chequing account number for "verification" purposes. With your bank account information, they make unauthorized withdrawals.
You have to provide your credit card number to cover the “shipping and handling fee” or “taxes” to process your winnings. This may be for just a small amount — $3 or $4. They want you to think, “It isn't much money, so why not risk it?” But now they have your credit card information. And they use it to make further unauthorized charges.
In fact, legitimate lotteries won’t require you to pay a fee or tax to collect winnings.
As well, you can’t win money or a prize in a lottery unless you’ve entered it yourself, or someone else has entered it on your behalf. You can’t be chosen as a random winner if you haven’t entered the lottery.
Keep your banking information private
Never send money or provide banking details to anybody you don't know and trust.