February 24, 2016 9:03 pm
Updated: February 24, 2016 9:19 pm

Better Business Bureau warns of new twist to phony lottery scam

WATCH ABOVE: There is a new twist on the classic lottery scam by mail. Here’s Tony Tighe with the scam and how to spot it.


CALGARY – If you get a prize or sweepstakes offer in the mail or by email, you normally throw it out or delete it.

However, some phony offers are being delivered in a new way which could fool some people.

Reid Galbraith received a courier package in the mail and said it looked important.

“Just at a glance, you would say that’s probably a FedEx (package) and I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to that until later,” Galbraith said.

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Inside the envelope was a letter notifying him he had won $3-million complete with ID number to confirm the prize.

But it was only after reading the fine print, Galbraith realized it was an offer to claim a prize and he had to send $25 to enter.

“This one is very well done. In my opinion, it looks very convincing and so we need to take the time (to) really read them through.”

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) said this is a new twist on the so-called windfall or sweepstakes scam.

The way it’s delivered is misleading and may fool people into believing it and then responding, according to Leah Brownridge, a marketing and communications coordinator for the BBB.

“That is the telltale sign so to speak,” Brownridge said. “You don’t get a prize, if you have to pay for it or if you’re asked for any kind of information in exchange for any kind of prize.”

The BBB also said you can’t win a prize unless you enter and if you can’t remember doing it, that’s a red flag.

The other warning sign is where the offer is from.

Galbraith noticed the postmark was from Prague and it is illegal for foreign lotteries or sweepstakes to operate in Canada.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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