Never click on short links sent through email/SMS: Experts
By Anil Rachamalla
You may get a call or email, or SMS or WhatsApp message saying you won a lottery, or a new car or a scratch card which can land you a few lakhs. We can easily identify it as a lottery scam because of what they do next. They ask you to pay money in advance or might ask you for a differential amount comparing the original cost of the product or request you to pay taxes to be able to get the prize. If you pay, you’ll lose your money and later you will find out there was no prize at all.
Notable lottery frauds are (i) Scratch Card Offer (ii) RBI Government Lottery (iii) Kaun Banega Crorepati Lottery (iv) Snap Deal Lottery (v) Euro Lottery (vi) Free Holiday Vouchers (vii) SBI Lottery
The top two signs of lottery fraud are
(i) You are asked to pay advances to get your prize.
(ii) You are asked to provide personal and financial information
Here is how you are cheated
(i) Fraudsters send you a message (via email, or SMS or WhatsApp or social media) to get personal information.
(ii) Fraudsters say they are from the government lottery agencies (RBI Lottery)
(iii) Fraudsters pressure you to act immediately to receive the prize, pay advances or taxes to their bank accounts.
(iv) Fraudsters use names of familiar organisations (Kaun Banega Crorepati Lottery, Snap Deal Lottery Etc.).
(v) Fraudsters will do social engineering to convince you are the only winner, but bulk messages are sent to many.
(vi) Fraudsters may call you and say that you have won a foreign lottery (Euro Lottery).
(vii) Fraudsters send you a copy of the cheques /demand drafts and ask for processing/convenience fees or taxes.
Do we have anyone to regulate?
Lottery in India is governed by the Lotteries Regulation Act, 1998, as of 2019 lottery in India doesn’t have all India ban but many States including Telangana have banned lotteries except for 13 States. Legal online lottery in India is a new concept for example. Lotto India is the legal online lottery in India for the players and has more jackpots.
Besides, we have the Public Gambling Act of 1867, all forms of gambling are illegal in India. This means that placing bets on your favourite game or a player (both online and offline) is illegal and not allowed.
Reserve Bank of India has warned people that deposits of money in any form towards participation in lottery schemes or money circulation schemes for
securing prize money or awards is prohibited under the Foreign Exchange Management Act.
i. Never click on short links sent through email / SMS.
ii. Click on websites that start with https:// (having a padlock symbol).
iii. Sender is not addressing you by name.
iv. We cannot win money in a lottery or competition unless we have purchased or participated personally.
v. Competitions and lotteries do not require you to pay an advance fee to collect winnings.
vi. Never transfer funds to unknown persons or organisations in anticipation of high returns.
vii. Ignore all emails, texts, and social media solicitations on lotteries.
viii. Ignore letters with a deadline to claim the prize.
ix. Ignore emails from Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail claiming you have won the lottery.
If you are a victim of Lottery Fraud, call 155260 or alternatively log on to www.cybercrime.gov.in and provide information of your Bank statements / Copy of SMS, Email, Courier Received, Fraudsters contact details along with your personal identity details.
Stay Tuned to Cyber Talk to know more on internet ethics and digital wellness brought to you by Anil Rachamalla, End Now Foundation, www.endnowfoundation.org