Recently, a Nipawin area resident received a call from a person claiming to represent the STARS Lottery. Realizing quickly it was not STARS Lottery, she decided to play along and find out more about their scam.
The caller claimed she was one of 500 people who had won an early bird draw. He prize was supposedly $250,000 and a brand new 2019 Ford Explorer. The caller already had her name and address and informed her the Ford Explorer would be delivered to her home that afternoon.
Then came the catch, the caller said in order to deliver the new SUV, she would have to pay them a $764.00 delivery charge. They stated she needed to pay for it using a pre-paid credit card. She had a VISA and questioned if she could use that and they insisted it needed to be a prepaid one. They instructed her to go out and purchase a prepaid card and gave her a number to call them back to complete the payment so they could get her new SUV delivered.
In attempt to reassure her it was legitimate, the caller had given her all sorts of reference numbers, including an alleged VIN (serial number) for the Ford Explorer. Even if she had not been aware it was a scammer, the 8 digit number they provided her would have removed any doubt. A new vehicle would have a 17 digit VIN number, not 8.
Once off the phone with the scammer, she called STARS Lottery, who assured her it was a scam and stated that they would never call and request such a payment from STARS Lottery winners.
The local resident had, in the past, been a winner of a small prize from the STARS Lottery and she was aware that a lot of others could have been as well. Having won before might make people more likely to fall for the scam and even just having bought a ticket could lower people’s guards.
How would they know you bought a ticket?
Well they actually don’t know that. It’s a numbers game, they just make calls until they find the people who have, and they really don’t need to make a lot of calls to find those people because STARS is such a popular lottery.
Nipawin residents have been tricked by these scammers in the past, just a few weeks ago another resident got a call that she had won a Vacation package. The catch on that one is she had to use her credit card to pay for “taxes” on the trip. She fell for it and the scammer had about $800 charged to her card within ten minutes of the call. Realizing her mistake, she immediately contacted her bank, which is a vital move if you think you’ve been scammed, and they where able to take steps to reverse the charges.
What to do if you get a call from a suspected scammer
If you receive a scam lottery call, hang up, record the number calling, then advise your local police department (Nipawin RCMP’s non-emergency number is 306-862-8670) and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501, or visit their website to report a scam
If you get the STARS Lottery scam call, you can check with STARS directly to verify if you are a winner. You can check the official lottery winners list on their website or contact them to confirm if you have won a prize. Always use their official numbers and websites, show below, and not the ones a scammer may provide.
Learn more about how to detect fraud on these websites;
Feature Image Source (authorized use); STARS/Mark Mennie / © STARS 2012