What would you do if someone told you you've won millions of dirhams? Image Credit: File photo

Highlights

  • Have you been waiting for the good news that you've finally become a millionaire? You might need to think twice if you get a call telling you that you've hit a mega jackpot.
  • Fraudsters are again doing the rounds, giving people fake prize notifications.
  • Take note of some telltale signs that you're dealing with a prize scam.

Dubai: The jackpot for the upcoming Big Ticket draw in Abu Dhabi is Dh15 million and at Dubai Duty Free, it’s Dh3.6 million ($1 million). These surely are a lot of money, so you have decided to buy tickets.

If, finally, you hear the good news you’ve been hoping for that you’ve hit the jackpot, you should believe it right away, right? You should probably not.

Lottery fans in the UAE have been warned that fraudsters are again targeting ticket buyers by giving them fake prize notifications and luring them into sharing personal data and paying a sum of money.

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In a warning note posted online, Dubai Duty Free said that scammers are doing the rounds once again, luring them with false claims of prize-draw wins. They contact unsuspecting customers via email or phone.

When people entertain these con artists, they will be asked to share their personal data and make a payment for the prize money to be released.

“It has been brought to our attention that individuals falsely claiming to represent Dubai Duty Free have been targeting consumers via email and phone, requesting their personal details as well as cash,” Dubai Duty Free warned.

“Please do not entertain any such requests or even respond to these emails or calls.”

According to a spokesperson, the prevalence of fraudsters trying to scam people out money is high. "“Per week, we receive an average of 26 calls and six emails, as well in our social media pages, related to this issue,” the source told Gulf News.

Ticket buyers are advised to visit the draw organiser’s official website, as well as its social media page on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or contact the company’s customer service desk to ensure a prize alert is legitimate.

"They can visit our website (www.online.dubaidutyfree.com) to check the list of winners in our promotions. Besides contacting our winners, we also send an email using the Dubai Duty Free email address (@ddf.ae). They can contact also the Dubai Duty Free Marketing Department for verification," the company said.

Telltale signs of a scam

A warning posted by Dubai Duty Free. Image Credit: Supplied

Here are some signs that you’re dealing with a prize scam, according to the US Federal Trade Commission:

1.You get a call out of the blue (and you never participated in any draw).

2.You’re told they’re from the government – or another organisation with a name that sounds official.

3.You have to pay a fee.

Legitimate draws don’t make you pay a fee or buy something to enter or improve your chances of winning — that includes paying "taxes," "shipping and handling charges," or “processing fees” to get your prize. There’s also no reason to give someone your checking account number or credit card number in response to a sweepstakes promotion.

4.You have to deposit a check they’ve sent you.

When you do, they will ask you to wire a portion of the money back. The check will turn out to be a fake, and you will owe the bank any money you withdrew.

5. You have to wire money.

You may be told to wire money to an agent of “Lloyd’s of London” or another well-known company – often in a foreign country – to make sure the prize is delivered. Don’t do it. Wiring money is like sending cash: once it’s gone, you can’t trace it or get it back. The same goes for sending a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier, or putting money on a prepaid debit card.