Unexpected Money or Winnings

Unexpected Money or Winnings In Depth

Who doesn’t dream of winning the lottery, or getting notified of a long-lost relative who has left you their hidden fortune. Even getting a notice from the government that you are owed money feels pretty good. Scammers use this as their bait to steal your money and personal details. Some of the most common unexpected money and winnings scams include:

Scammers tricks

  1. Pretend to be from a legitimate organisation to win your trust
  2. Lure you in by claiming that you have won money or a prize
  3. Ask you to pay an upfront fee via wire transfer, gift card, cash or cryptocurrency
  4. Require you to give them personal information like bank account details, date of birth and home address.

Inheritance Scams

The scammer makes contact with you normally via a phone call,  letter or email telling you that you have a distant relative that you don't know, that has passed away, they have no next of kin and that you have been lucky enough to inherit a sum of money.  They will often pretend to be acting in an official capacity on behalf of the relative. This could be as a lawyer, accountant, bank or some kind of government worker. They tell you before you can get access to the money there are some procedural checks including forms that need to be submitted out and taxes to pay. They ask you to pay an upfront fee for administration and other costs so they can start the process for you as well as personal details like proof of identity and bank account details.

Tax Refund Scams

Scammers contact you claiming to be from the IRS and inform you that you are eligible for a tax refund. They request that you contact them so they can confirm your details and process that payment. When you call them they will try to get provide personal details and inform you that there is an administration fee that you need to pay via wire transfer so they can send you the refund. 

Lottery Scams

This is a classic imposter scam where scammers pose a representatives from a lottery or sweepstakes organisation. They call to inform you of the great news that you have been one of their lucky winners. Often they do a very good job imitating official communication using the organisations brands in emails and letters. They ask to send in money so you can claim your prize usually by wire transfer, gift cards or cryptocurrency which makes it all but impossible to trace and have any chance of getting your money back. 

 

There are many other variations of unexpected winnings and lottery scams. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from a government department or lottery, hang up, go to the appropriate website find the phone number and call back to verify if the claim is real. Legitimate businesses won't ask you to make a payment up front so anyone that does is probably a scammer. Never give out your personal details to anyone unless you can be 100% sure they are who they say they are.

Scams Relating to Unexpected Money or Winnings

Sort by:
Red Flags of Fake Venmo Email Scams Promising A Lot of Money

Red Flags of Fake Venmo Email Scams Promising A Lot of Money

Venmo users are noticing suspicious emails hitting their inboxes with claims of a large sum of money waiting to be transferred by a PayPal user.

How the Nigerian Prince Scam Has Evolved & How to Protect Yourself

How the Nigerian Prince Scam Has Evolved & How to Protect Yourself

Arm yourself with information on how this scam works and the red flags to watch out for to protect your bank account from these thieves.

Elderly Targeted in Sweepstakes Scams: A Lesson to Remember
27 September 2021 |

Elderly Targeted in Sweepstakes Scams: A Lesson to Remember

Read how an actual sweepstakes scheme unfolded and scammed an elderly couple out of $800,000, as told by investigative consultant and ex-DEA Special Agent, Jason James.

Warning Signs of Publishers Clearing House Fake Checks

Warning Signs of Publishers Clearing House Fake Checks

If you receive a check in the mail from Publishers Clearing House from winning a sweepstake, don't celebrate just yet.

Publishers Clearing House Scam Calls: Red Flags of Imposters

Publishers Clearing House Scam Calls: Red Flags of Imposters

Fabulous wealth and life-changing prizes aren't always what's to be expected after receiving a call from PCH—it could just be a scam to steal your information and money.

Cash App Free Money: It Really Is Too Good To Be True
29 April 2021 |

Cash App Free Money: It Really Is Too Good To Be True

If you enter Cash App giveaways or sweepstakes, be extra cautious. Scammers will try to trick you into thinking you've won but are really just trying to steal from you.

Scams in Other Categories...
The "Little Gift" is a Lie! Protect Yourself From Fake Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile Texts
15 October 2021 |

The "Little Gift" is a Lie! Protect Yourself From Fake Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile Texts

If you receive a text message from your cell phone provider containing a link to a "little gift," don't click on it—it's a scam!

Tinder Code Scam Leads to Monthly Porn Subscriptions
7 October 2021 |

Tinder Code Scam Leads to Monthly Porn Subscriptions

The Tinder safe dating scam tricks users into giving up their credit card info to verify their profiles and leads to auto-enrollment in monthly subscription-based porn sites.

Recognize Fake Bank Reps Calling to Steal Your Information
6 October 2021 |

Recognize Fake Bank Reps Calling to Steal Your Information

A call from your bank isn't always legitimate—imposters pretend to represent your bank to steal your information and money.

Vishing Scams: What They Are and How to Protect Yourself
4 October 2021 |

Vishing Scams: What They Are and How to Protect Yourself

In 2020, almost $20 billion was lost to phone scammers in the U.S. alone. With 165 million robocalls being made every day, it's hard not to be targeted.

Guides Relating to Unexpected Money or Winnings

Sort by:
The Most Common Facebook Messenger Scams To Watch Out For

The Most Common Facebook Messenger Scams To Watch Out For

With every Facebook Messenger scam, the attacker is trying to steal from you—whether they’re after money, login credentials, or other personal information.

Beat Cash App Scams and Stay Safe When Transferring Money

Beat Cash App Scams and Stay Safe When Transferring Money

Cash App may be a convenient way to send and receive money from friends and family, but it's also a common target for scammers who are out for your money.

Guides in Other Categories...
U.S. Fraud and Scam Statistics 2020 - $3.3 Billion Lost
14 October 2021

U.S. Fraud and Scam Statistics 2020 - $3.3 Billion Lost

The U.S. saw a massive 45% increase from 2019 to 2020 in reports of fraud, scams, and identity theft and a 1,400% increase in 20 years from 2001.

Save Up to 25% With These 14 Discounts on Car Insurance
14 October 2021 |

Save Up to 25% With These 14 Discounts on Car Insurance

When looking for the best car insurance rates, be sure to take advantage of these 14 discounts that can save you hundreds of dollars on your premium.

How Much Is Your New Car Really Going to Cost You? We Break It Down
13 October 2021 |

How Much Is Your New Car Really Going to Cost You? We Break It Down

Buying a car is one of the biggest purchases a person may make in their lives, and being aware of these often-forgotten expenses may help you make a more informed decision.

News Relating to Unexpected Money or Winnings

Sort by:
News in Other Categories...
N.J. Man Pleads Guilty to SIM Swapping Conspiracy Stealing Over $500k From Victims
5 October 2021 |

N.J. Man Pleads Guilty to SIM Swapping Conspiracy Stealing Over $500k From Victims

This case shows just why you need to be aware of SIM swapping and how to protect your cell phone number from criminals like this.

Student Loan Scammers Arrested After Stealing $6.1 Million
22 September 2021 |

Student Loan Scammers Arrested After Stealing $6.1 Million

After a 3-year long scam, Angela Mirabella and six others have been indicted on several charges, including grand theft.

FBI Warns Fake COVID Vaccine Cards Could Lead to Prison Time
14 September 2021 |

FBI Warns Fake COVID Vaccine Cards Could Lead to Prison Time

Taking a chance on a fake COVID-19 vaccination card seems like an easy way to get around requirements, but think again before you land yourself in prison.

Beware of this New Scam Involving A Fake Call from CBP
10 September 2021 |

Beware of this New Scam Involving A Fake Call from CBP

Sometimes it just safer not to pick up calls from unknown phone numbers.

Nike Teams Up with U.S. Customs to Stop Counterfeiters
23 August 2021 |

Nike Teams Up with U.S. Customs to Stop Counterfeiters

Nike is taking a stand against counterfeiters and stopping fake products before they hit U.S. soil.