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WhatsApp & Lottery Fraud


There have been a significant number of reports of Scammers pretending to be a family member or friend on WhatsApp.

This was highlighted earlier this month and the warning is repeated here again this week.

The basic method they use is as follows:

• The suspect will send the victim a message via WhatsApp claiming to be their son/daughter/friend and that they have had to change their number, having lost or damaged their phone

• The Scammer will then say they are now using a new phone number

• As a result of this, the Scammers will claim they are getting in touch in order to borrow money to purchase the new device or pay off a debt.

• After this, the Scammer will give their bank details so a payment can be made to them, with some coming back with further demands for money.


Analysis of reports to Action Fraud by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified a dramatic increase in Advance Fee Lottery Frauds over the last six months.

Over £925,000 was lost by victims during that period. Victims reported losing an average loss of just over £1,500.

70% of victims reported to be aged 50 or over.

Fraudsters will contact the victim in the following way or similar:

• Lottery fraud occurs when criminals use fake messages and calls to convince a person that they have won a lottery or a prize draw

• The victim is then informed that they will need to pay an advance “fee” in order to receive the winnings

• Victims are commonly asked to pay these advance fees by purchasing gift cards, and relaying codes to the Fraudster.

• In some instances, victims have reported being asked for personal and financial information in order to obtain their “winnings”. Some victims reported providing their bank details thinking they would be sent a small payment to verify the account. In reality, criminals use these details to steal the victim’s money.


• Stop – Taking a moment to stop and think can keep you and your money safe.

• Challenge – Keep your money and information safe from criminals by only purchasing items from authorised sellers and doing your research fully before making a purchase.

• Protect – if you think you’ve fallen for a scam contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.