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Unexpected Windfall

Temptation tactics can often be used as a common scam to try to get you to divulge your personal, financial or security information. These kinds of scams can look like you’ve won an unexpected prize or lottery and work by asking you to pay a fee in order to claim your prize or winnings from a competition or lottery that you never entered. You may also be contacted by someone offering you money or gold if you assist them or you might be notified of an unforeseen inheritance. These “unexpected windfall” notifications usually come by email or through the post.

Another variation is the “Nigerian letter scam” where an unknown individual asks you to help them transfer a large sum of money out of Nigeria or another country in return for a large fee.

The fraudsters may justify the fee by suggesting it is for insurance costs, bank fees, courier charges or for taxes. While most people might be aware of these types of scams, some unfortunately still get caught out.

Key Advice

  1. Remember it is highly unlikely that you will win a large unexpected prize or inherit money you were not expecting.
  2. Never respond to any contact that promises lots of money or easy money for helping a stranger to move funds.
  3. Be cautious of any communication that presses you to act ‘now’. Criminals frequently try to get you to act quickly so you don’t have time to think or confirm their legitimacy.
  4. Never give money to receive money i.e. send money for postage, insurance, fees etc. until you have fully and independently checked out the legitimacy of the offer.
  5. Do not send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a cheque picked up by courier in order to receive money until you have fully and independently checked out the legitimacy of the offer.
  6. As a basic rule, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.