A fake Full House Lottery website (FHLottery.ca) has been shut down after it was posing as the legitimate organization, trying to obtain personal and financial information from people.
In a post on Facebook Sunday, the charity lottery explained the phishing scam was attempting to gather information like addresses, dates of birth and credit card information under the guise of early registration for VIP tickets.
“This website is not associated with Full House Lottery,” the group clarified. “We are not selling any early VIP tickets. This is a phishing scam. Emails and websites often attempt to look authentic in an effort to gather credit card and personal information. You should avoid clicking on these links and providing personal information on these phishing sites.”
The official website is www.fullhouse.ca.
“Someone hacked the email list that we have and probably a few thousand people were sent a fake email on behalf of… ‘Full House Lottery’ and they were directed to a false website,” lottery manager Frank Calder told Global News.
“When a person got the fake email, they were then asked to go to a fake website – which, by the way, is now shut down – and were asked for financial information and other personal information, so that’s really what the risk was for people,” Calder explained.
He said Full House Lottery does not store credit card details, which helped protect people’s information. The group doesn’t know when or how the breach occurred.
“We know that hackers can break into the most sophisticated organizations in the world and we can’t expect that we’re immune from that,” Calder said. “At the same time, we do everything we can to keep our systems secure.”
The fraudulent emails were received Sunday and Full House Lottery notified its contacts of the breach.
“We took it very seriously, we let people know absolutely as quickly as we could, we moved to have this fake website shut down as quickly as we could – and it is shut down. We went to the authorities who are now investigating it.
Calder said Full House Lottery’s Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard exceeds compliance standards.
In its online post, the group said, “We do not share or give out your personal information to anyone other than the Hospital Foundations which the lottery supports. Please be assured that the security of your information is extremely important to us and we will update when we have more information.”
Full House Lottery is Alberta’s biggest home lottery and Edmonton’s only lottery with three huge homes.
Last year, the lottery marked 23 years of supporting the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and the University Hospital Foundation.
The organization also posted information about the warning on its website, along with a screenshot of the scam.