The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has warned the general public to be aware of potential lottery scams which target consumers during the festive period.
The Commission has published its latest guidance to inform the public on how to spot fraudulent lotteries, detailing the checks that consumers should undertake before participating in any festive prize draws.
It warned the public to be wary of any lottery that requires customers to send cash overseas or to phone an international or premium rate number.
The UKGC remarked that under current UK advertising codes, no licensed gambling service can use catchphrases such as ‘winning will change your life’ or imply that participation is a solution to financial difficulties.
Should consumers be approached online via an email, social media referral or direct message, the Commission has advised not to click on any promotional link, with users asked to search the lotteries credential independently.
Meanwhile, if a lottery is being advertised on Facebook, check that the Facebook page has been verified. The UKGC further stated that no licensed gambling operator can send promotional materials from a personal email account.
Before taking part in any festive lottery, the UKGC reminded the public to always check that the business is licensed by the Gambling Commission or a local authority
If the lottery claims to be raising funds for a well-known charity, contact the organisation beforehand to see if it is legitimate.
During the festive period, the Commission warned consumers to be extra diligent with regards to reviewing promotions sent by gambling firms with regards to inconsistent terms and conditions.
Victims of lottery scams and people that wish to report a fraudulent lottery, have been asked to get in contact with the police’s ‘Action Fraud’ department.