With the holidays traditionally a time for goodwill and giving, it seems scammers were hoping that residents in Unity were in a particularly generous mood as RCMP report a significant increase in the number of lottery scams in recent weeks.
Most notably, according to Const. James Gunjonson, were callers from scammers claiming to represent STARS Air Ambulance telling people they had won new vehicles as well as cash prizes ranging from $30,000 to $175,000.
“Everyone dreams of winning a big lottery prize but unfortunately scammers know that and take advantage of this,” Gunjonson said in a press release. “These individuals will attempt to manipulate people by falsely claiming they have won an extravagant prize and them to send a payment in order to claim their prize.”
Gunjonson added reputable lotteries never ask winners to send any money to claim a prize.
“If you are asked to send a cheque, money order, or payment of any kind to claim your lottery prize, it is a scam,” he added. “Hang up the phone or delete the email.”
He also noted individuals can check with STARS directly to verify if you are a winner.
“There is an official lottery winners list on the STARS website or contact them to confirm you have won a prize,” Gunjonson said.” Always use the official number and website and not the ones a scammer may provide.”
In Saskatchewan, you can call 1-855-449-2444, or email [email protected] to see if you have actually won a STARS lottery prize.
He also noted if you receive a scam lottery call, do not under any circumstances provide details or send any money. He advises you should record the number, hang up, and then advise your local police department.
On Twitter: @RJWtheReporter
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