In these last few days, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has received a number of reports from the general public regarding what appears to be a new wave of spam letters and emails which are being mailed directly to individuals living within households. These letters and emails seem to originate from a Spanish or Australian or UK company (such as El Gordo or Loteria Primitiva or Australian Lottery) claiming that you have been the “lucky winner” of a large cash prize. To claim the prize, you are told to pay a sum that goes towards taxes, bank costs, courier and processing fees necessary to deliver the prize.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A SCAM
Those people receiving such letters and emails should not be fooled. The MFSA urges the public to be extremely cautious and not to rush into responding to any type of letter with urgent requests for money.
Persons wishing to obtain additional information about this scam are invited to contact the MFSA’s Consumer Complaints Manager (telephone: 80074924, direct: 25485313, email address: [email protected]).
How to spot a prize or lottery scam:-
If the prize or lottery notification has any of the following elements, we strongly suggest you do not respond to it:
- The information advises that you have won a prize – but you did not enter any competition run by the prize promoters.
- The mail may be personally addressed to you but it has been posted using bulk mail – thousands of others around the world may have received thee exact same notification.
- The prize promoters ask for a fee (for administration or “processing”) to be paid in advance.
- To get your prize might require travel overseas at your own cost to receive it.
- We strongly advice against any communication with fraudsters who run these scams. Do not respond at all. If you already have, cease all communication immediately.
- Keep your credit card and bank account numbers to yourself.
- If you have already given money to these fraudsters for any variety of reasons, unfortunately, there is not much chance of recovery. Once the fraudsters have your cash, your money is gone.