Sweepstakes are a scam
Fraud with promise of profit
Rip off with method: false profit promises
The promise of supposedly high profits is a scam that scammers use in a wide variety of ways. The method is always the same: Before handing over a prize, victims are asked to give a compensation to provide, for example to pay "fees", paid Calling phone numbers or attending events where inferior goods are offered at inflated prices.
The simulated scenarios are constantly being changed by the crooks. You can find out more about these scams - illustrated by way of example - here:
Profit only for a "processing fee"
They usually contact their victims by phone - sometimes also by email - and claim that they have won a large sum, a high-quality car or other material asset in a competition. However, the prize can only be handed over after paying a "processing fee".
Callers pretend to be lawyers, among other things
Target audience are mostly elderlythat of predominantly fraudsters operating from Turkey to be contacted. The callers are well trained in how to conduct calls and appear convincing. In order to lull their victims into a false sense of security, they pretend to call on behalf of lawyers and notaries and provide the alleged winners with a callback number for further processing of the prizes.
If the “winners” report to the “notaries” or “lawyers”, they are asked to report allegedly incurred costs to pay before they can accept the profit, for example lawyer, notary, processing or customs fees, transport or insurance costs.
Criminals fake reputable phone numbers
The perpetrators use one for their calls special techniquewhich enables a different number to be displayed on the phone number display of the phone of its victims, for example the phone number of a lawyer, a public authority or the police.
Offenders give clear instructions on how to pay
The perpetrators give clear payment instructions: They send their victims to the post office, for example, in order to transfer the alleged costs - often a sum of several hundred to over a thousand euros - for example by Cash transfer. The majority of the recipients are in Turkey (Istanbul).
Or they ask their victims to purchase prepaid cards for online purchases, such as paysafecard. These cards are available as vouchers at many petrol stations and in retail stores. With the paysafecard voucher the buyer receives an individual number (PIN). This number is practically cash, because anyone who has it can use it to shop on the Internet. Therefore, the fraudsters ask their victims for the voucher number under a pretext so that they can go on a shopping spree on the Internet.
Threat of a criminal complaint
If the person called is critical and not so easy to convince, the perpetrators practice massive pressure and often threaten with "consequences" such as a criminal complaint if the victim does not want to pay.
If the victim pays, however, the perpetrators keep coming back to demand more money under various pretexts. However, the victims never see the promised profit. And the money they sent is gone.
Simulated scenarios are diverse
With always new simulated scenarios the perpetrators try to get their victims' money. For example, they pretend to be police officers, public prosecutors or judges and claim that the people called play an important role in a police investigation. To assist the police in an arrest, they should transfer money.
Or the fraudsters contact their victims on behalf of the public prosecutor's office to inform them that they are allegedly being prosecuted for fraudulent claims because they have entered a competition but have not paid for it. In order for the charges to be withdrawn, an amount of several hundred euros would have to be paid immediately.
Invitation to the "prize handover"
The fraudsters not only report by phone or e-mail, but also by post. they send Letters to their victims, in which they promise high cash prizes that they supposedly would have fought for the "lucky winner".
To receive the money, the winners would only have to register for an event at which the money would be paid out. In addition, there is also free food and drinks, and the bus transfer to the event is free. Additional presents are also used to attract people.
In this way, the fraudsters try to lure the lucky “winners” to a sales event at which inferior goods are touted at inflated prices.
Beware of the pay phone loop
Commercial "lottery operators" also claim their victims in the mail official letters to dial a certain phone number in order to secure an alleged profit claim and that as quickly as possible. Or they are asked by a caller to specify a specific Press digit or sequence of digits. Anyone who does this ends up in a long queue and is then drawn into a conversation that usually has only one goal: to keep the caller on the line for as long as possible high telephone charges attack. Many a victim has already "telephoned" several hundred euros in this way.
Most of the time the conversations end with the note: “You will hear from us”. But the supposed winner waits in vain for that. It is difficult to determine who is behind the letters, because the fraudsters often use incorrect street and location information.
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