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Lottery scams and fraud

Be aware of the potential for lottery scams. This guide will help you spot these type of scams and help you to avoid fraudulent lotteries.

Published: 23 September 2020

Last updated: 27 August 2023

This version was printed or saved on: 21 July 2024

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/public-and-players/guide/lottery-scams-and-fraud

Overview: Be aware of the potential for lottery scams. This guide will help you spot scams and help you to avoid fraudulent lotteries.

There are certain indicators that you can look out for, and you should consider these before you take part in a lottery.

Signs that a lottery may be a scam

What to look out for before taking part

Is there something odd or suspicious about a lottery you have seen?

If you think a lottery is a scam, you need to report this to Action Fraud (opens in new tab).

If you think the lottery is illegal and should be running under a licence or a local authority registration, you should report it to us or the local authority responsible for the area it is operating from.

Winning a prize in a lottery that you did not enter

We do not notify people of lottery or competition wins. If you receive this type of notification it is a scam and you should not respond to it.

Claims that you have won a prize in a lottery you did not enter is one of the ways fraudsters can steal your money or identity.

Genuine lotteries will not ask you for payment in order to give you your prize.

Make sure that you do not:

Report a scam

If you think a lottery is a scam, you need to report it to Action Fraud (opens in new tab). You can also read more about lottery scams on the Action Fraud website.

However, the majority of these types of fraud operate from outside the United Kingdom and therefore police powers are very limited.