Came in email this morning in the Kim Komando Daily (computer) Tip Newsletter. Live links. Most of us know what to watch out for, but for those who don't consider this pretty good advice.
"Free lotteries on the Internet
"Q. How reliable are the free lottery sites on the Web? There are some I play daily. They offer fine prizes, but I have never won. There are money prizes as low as $1 on <snip> and I've never won even that. Another one, <snip>, never responds to my questions. Who monitors these people, anyway?
A. To answer your question, I checked the Internet for information on both of these sites.
In the case of LuckySurf, I did find a press release from the Office of Financial and Insurance Services of the Michigan state government, warning about an advance-fee scam. More about that in a moment. But it appears that the criminals involved in this scam were just using LuckySurf's name. A representative of the Michigan agency said LuckySurf does not notify winners via phone.
I searched the Web sites for the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. Neither company name popped up. Nor did I find anything on Internet lotteries.
So I have no reason to believe that either is dishonest. I can't say from personal experience, because I have never entered a lottery on either site.
However, I have entered the Arizona Lottery a few times. And guess what? I never won a penny! So, it's probably not surprising that you haven't won anything.
All this is not to say that online lotteries are always honest. If you are notified by spam that you have won the Spanish lottery, or some such, you should assume that you are being conned. Basically, if you didn't enter, you didn't win.
Lottery "wins" are often advance-fee schemes. In these, you are told that you won a huge amount of money. To collect your prize, you have to send in several thousand dollars. Once you do, of course, you never hear another word.
Maybe you'll win a bundle on a lottery site. That would be wonderful. But don't send them money. If they ask for money, call the police. Same goes for your Social Security and credit card numbers.
If you think you've become involved in a scam, contact the National Fraud Information Center (www.fraud.org). Or you can contact the government-sponsored Internet Fraud Complaint Center (www.ifccfbi.gov). Both offer tips to help you avoid Internet scams. The government also provides listings for state consumer protection offices.
It’s Thursday, so that means you can listen to me today for the latest news and views on all things digital. Use my map to find the Computer Minute near you.
Thanks for writing. I hope this helps. I’ll see you tomorrow with another great tip!
Kim :) "
Kim Komando Show Daily Tip Newsletter