Scams and Frauds in the United Kingdom - How to Recognize Them and What To Do If You Receive One
"Hundreds of U.K. citizens win
every week using our secret system!
UK National Lottery Scams
Sound great? It's a fraud.
Scam operators often based in the Netherlands, Canada and Nigeria are using the telephone and direct mail to entice U.K. (and other global) consumers to buy chances in high-stakes foreign lotteries from as far away as Australia and America.
Lotteries are a special target of the scammers. There are only two legal lotteries in Britain,
Neither uses email to notify winners - unless you have already purchased from them and signed up for email notification from them.
Examples of the lottery scam emails
Also note that there is no legal "UK online lottery" - see this page for a sample fraud email from the "UK Online Lottery" at The Marina Offices of St Peters Yacht Basin
All other lotteries, including foreign lotteries operating in Great Britain, are unlawful in the UK (except those provided for by the 1976 Lotteries and Amusements Act; meaning the government run National Lottery). There are some exemptions for small charity-based lotteries, but there are explicit requirements for these and they do not email winners, either. See the legal guidance for small lotteries and the UK government paper Lotteries and the Law.
Other types of scams
While UK National Lottery scams are the most common scam going in the UK, it is certainly not the only one. Click on the links below for details of other types of scams specific to Great Britain.
How to report a scam in the UK
Of course, you can forward the email to us at CFR. We will add it to the watch lists, publish it (without any information that identifies you) and forward it to the UK authorities if it is new. You can also report it directly to the UK government yourself using the addresses below:
For lottery scams: call the hotline at 020 7211 8111
For investment scams -
Financial Services Authority
How to recognise a scam is it too good to be true?
A scam is when people con you out of your cash. There are hundreds of types
of scams fake lotteries and prize draws, incredible schemes to make money
quickly, fake investment plans, work from home schemes the list goes on and on.
The people who run these scams are clever and sophisticated and they know how to persuade us to part with our cash.
Most scams have some things in common check out this list and help yourself to be on guard against scammers
How scam artists succeed they will:
New scams from the UK and overseas appear every day so it's important to know how to spot them.
They offer you something for nothing such as:
There are hundreds of examples but we can all protect ourselves by being skeptical. Is it likely that someone you don't know, who has contacted you out of the blue, will give you something for nothing?
They'll ask you to:
They will lie to you and give you what seem to be good reasons why you should do what they say. They will answer all your objections.
Don't send any money or give any personal details to anyone until you've
checked them out and talked to a professional or family and friends.
Other things to look out for
Use the links on the right to find out about some of the most common scams, and how to report any scams you come across.
Detailed Information About Particular Scams
Legitimate lotteries in most countries, like NZ (eg,
Lotto) have to be licensed to operate. In most
countries, online lotteries are illegal!
Names of Scam / Fake / Fraud Lottery
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2010 - Definition of scam,
fraud, etc. - Legal
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