How scam artists work
This could be a call from an unknown number or a text message about winnings in a well-known lottery. Then they usually ask you to transfer money to pay taxes or pay to complete documentation. The conmen demand that the money be transferred quickly or the winnings will be transferred to another player or simply cancelled.
Con artists on the Internet are extremely crafty and creative. Let’s look at the main types of cyber fraud.
Emails, or the so-called ‘Nigerian emails’. The sender claims to be a person responsible for conducting lottery drawings. He offers to tell you the winning combination in advance of the drawing. What do you need to do? Transfer money to the account detailed in the letter. When you realize that you’ve been conned and there are no winning combinations in advance, your money is already in the scam artists’ pockets.
Phishing. The goal of this cyber-crime is to collect your confidential details (bank account number, passport details, and so on). When you get an email from the scammers and follow the link it contains, you get to an exact copy of our site (or a section of the site). You enter your password and your details, and that’s it, now the conmen have them.
Social networks. Check your friends on social networks carefully. Do you know them all personally? Doubtful. Although you don’t have any reason not to trust your virtual ‘friend’. And that is wrong. Scammers on social networks create a believable legend (they might claim to be a winner or even an organizer of the lottery), gain your trust, and then ask for money in exchange for unique information.
These kinds of scams really had their heyday in the 1990s, although even now you might receive a letter in your post box claiming that you have won the lottery. In order to claim your winnings, you first need to transfer money to the account detailed in the letter. In addition to famous Russian lotteries (Sportloto or Russkoye Lotto), scam artists might claim to represent western games as well. El Gordo from Spain is particularly popular.
Magic and witchcraft
Can you predict the winning combination or influence a win? Soothsayers’ pricelists do include such items. However before you give your money to a charlatan, remember: no one has yet won the lottery with the help of a clairvoyant.
How to avoid falling victim to a scam: 5 simple rules
1. Check the given telephone numbers and address. The contact details for the lottery organizer are always freely accessible. Our telephone numbers are:
2. Do not transfer money to unknown accounts. Lottery organizers to not take money to arrange claiming winnings. And all details about drawings are freely accessible. The stoloto.ru site has archives for each drawing (follow the link to Drawings Archive on the lottery page).
3. Do not click on questionable links in emails. Remember, Stoloto does not send emails asking you to confirm your details, password, or bank account number.
4. A promise of a 100% guaranteed win is a lie. Winning the lottery is always a matter of chance, and no one knows the winning combination before the end of the drawing.
5. ‘No need to lie to me, I’m happy to deceive myself’. Just remember to stay calm in any questionable situation. Remember, the truth is on your side.
Crime and punishment: a real-life story
In February 2015 several Stoloto players received ‘Nigerian emails’. The sender swore that the drawings for Gosloto 6 out of 45 are fixed in advance, and that there was a person inside the company who would share the winning numbers. Then the scam artists suggested that the recipients transfer money to their account and in turn get the ‘winning combination’ for each next drawing. The scammers were caught by the security services and have already been sentenced.
A cashier in a chain store in Novosibirsk copied shoppers’ credit card details, stole their money and used it to place bets in State Lotto lotteries. In total the cashier stole funds amounting to 553,000 rubles. The punishment was a four-year suspended sentence and two years of probation.
A resident of the Ulyanovsk region looked up the access codes for the terminals installed in Evroset-Retail shops. When the clerks were distracted, he used the codes and printed off several lottery tickets without paying to place the bets. He continued this over the course of several days and printed off 10 tickets worth 628,620 rubles. The court found him guilty and fined him 110,000 rubles, and also rules that the 628,620 rubles be returned in compensation.