The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued a warning to the general public to be aware of possible lottery scams that during the festive season target customers.
In order to educate the public about how to spot fraudulent lotteries, the Commission has released its new guidelines outlining the controls that customers should perform before engaging in any festive prize draw.
It warned the public to be careful of any lottery that needs clients to send cash abroad or to call an international or premium rate number.
The UKGC noted that no licenced gambling service should use catchphrases such as ‘winning can change your life’ under current UK advertising codes, or suggest that participating is a solution to financial difficulties.
If consumers are contacted online via an email, a social media referral or a direct message, the Commission has advised that they should not click on any promotional connection, asking users to independently search the lottery credentials.
In the meantime if Facebook is promoting a lottery, verify that the Facebook page has been checked. Furthermore the UKGC confirmed that no licenced gambling operator from a personal email address can submit promotional materials.
The UKGC reminded the public to always verify that the company is authorised by the Gambling Commission or a local authority before engaging in any festive lottery.
If the lottery claims to collect money for a well-known charitable organisation, contact the organisation in advance to see if it is valid.
The Commission warned consumers during the festive season to be extra vigilant with regard to the review of advertisements sent by gambling firms with respect to conflicting terms and conditions.
Lottery scam victims and individuals who wish to report a fraudulent lottery have been asked to get in touch with the ‘Action Fraud’ branch of the police.