Lottery scams are designed to steal money from victims by convincing them they have won a large cash prize and then charging them in some fashion in order to retrieve this fake prize. These scams can be simple enough to stop and ignore if you know what to look out for, which we have detailed below.
Number One Rule: You cannot win a Loto Santiago prize if you have not bought an entry. Anybody that says you have won a prize when you have not entered is trying to scam you.
If you ever have any doubt about whether you are being scammed or not, please contact us.
Lottery scams are effective as they convince people they have won a large amount of money, when in actual fact all that is going to happen is the victim will spend money trying to get their hands on a prize that never existed in the first place. Use the general steps below to avoid being scammed:
- Know that you can only win a Loto Santiago prize if you have bought an entry into a draw. If you haven’t bought an entry, you cannot win a prize.
- Check your numbers manually on the results page. If you check the numbers yourself you can see exactly how many you have matched, rather than relying on someone else.
- You will never have to pay a fee to release your prize. If you are asked to pay a fee to release your prize then you are being scammed.
- Loto Santiago does not select winners based on email addresses, telephone numbers or home addresses. The only way to win is match numbers on your entry to the official ones drawn.
How to Spot a Scam
When you know what to look for in a lottery scam it becomes very obvious when you are being targeted. Check out the points below which highlight some common things scammers will do:
- Have you been given a short deadline to claim your prize? This is a trick scammers utilise to try and make you act without having time to think or check the facts yourself.
- Are there spelling mistakes or poor grammar in the message you received? Some messages will be written correctly, but it is common to see scam messages having spelling or grammatical errors as the messages are not written in the scammer’s native language. Read through the message carefully and you may be able to spot some.
- Are you being told to keep the prize win a secret? This is a trick to try and make you not talk to family or friends about the win, as they will be able to expose it for being a scam and not genuine.
- Are you being asked to pay money as some kind of “admin” or “processing” fee in order to release your winnings? This is how they steal the money off you. There is no lottery in the world that would make you pay extra money to receive your winnings.
- Is it just too good to be true? If it seems like it and you haven’t entered a lottery, then the answer is that it probably is.
Types of Scam
There are various different ways in which you will be contacted about a potential scam. We have highlighted the most common ones below
These are the most common form of scam which usually involve someone pretending to be from Loto Santiago claiming you have won a prize or the jackpot. Typically, the prizes mentioned are different to those of the actual prizes, which you can find on the official prizes page here.
These emails will typically ask you to provide personal or financial information or even follow a link to a website. These links often send you to malicious websites designed to infect your computer or steal your information, so we do not recommend you click a link from a suspicious email and instead check this site yourself instead.
Some fraudulent emails also appear to come from an official lotosantiago.cl email address when actually they are not. If you double click on the email address the message was received from, it will show the senders full address which likely differs from the original one shown.
Other signs include:
- You are addressed as “winner” or something that is not personal to you
- Incorrect spelling or grammar
- Links to unfamiliar websites
- Asking for your financial information
- The email is sent from a free webmail address, such as gmail.com or yahoo.com
- Bad or no design formatting of the email
- Mistakes in the email subject
If you receive a phone call or message saying you have been chosen at random then this is a scam. We will only contact you via phone if you have won the jackpot and we have already arranged to call you. Other signs are:
- You are not referred to by name - instead by a generic phrase like “winner” is used
- You are asked to provide card details
- You are pressured to respond there and then on the phone, rather than being given time to think about what’s going on
- Automated messages which can be identified by random changes in tone or pitch by the voice on the other end
If you receive a postal letter saying you have won a lottery prize then it will almost certainly be a scam. Loto Santiago will never send you a piece of post if it has your email address, and neither will any other lottery draw. Other signs include:
- Not addressed to you by name
- Incorrect spelling and grammar
- Asked to provide money for a processing fee of your prize
- Use the name of “officials” in the made-up lottery department which are designed to try and build trust
- Poor quality of images used
What to do if you are the target of a scam
Follow the below steps if you think you are subject to a lottery scam:
- Do not respond to the message, click any links or call back any phone numbers
- Do not pay any fees or give up any information, regardless of how small or insignificant it may seem
- Do not send any copies of documents they have requested, such as driver’s license or passport.
- Report the scam message to us via the contact us page
If you have already given information to the scammers or sent them money, then the first thing to do is to call your bank and explain to them what has happened. They will be able to help you take steps in order to lock your bank account down.