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Prize draw and scratchcards scams

Everyone has received a letter through the door saying you are guaranteed to have won a substantial amount of money in a prize draw. You may also receive an email or even phone call saying the same.​

Prize draws

Many look plausible and claim you have won a prize in a draw which could equate to thousands of pounds or be an expensive product such as a car or electrical equipment. As with other scams – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Do not respond – if you do your details may be added to a ‘suckers list’ and be sold to scammers across the world. Those who have responded see a significant increase in the amount of similar unsolicited mail they receive.

Never send money and never give out your personal or bank account details.

If you do receive such a mailing, please remove your name and address and dispose of it in an environmentally friendly way.


Cards usually arrive by post or come with newspapers and magazines. They claim that everyone is a winner and tell you to telephone a premium rate number to claim your prize. The prize is usually worth less than the cost of the telephone call or some type of discounted holiday.

The general advice on schemes like this is to scratch off the panel and place the card in the bin. If you do decide to phone the number read the small print carefully. The card should state the duration of the call and the cost per minute. If you cannot see any call costs then contact PhonePayPlus, the organisation that regulates phone-paid services in the UK.

For advice or to report a scam, please contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133.

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