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Prize or Sweepstakes Scam

You “win” a big prize that doesn't actually exist.

How it works

Scam artists phone, email, or mail a letter notifying you that you're the winner of a large lottery or sweepstake. To receive the prize, you are told you must pay a small advance fee to cover taxes or legal fees associated to the win. No prize is ever received.

How to protect yourself

Never pay a fee in order to release winnings. This scam is easy to recognize when you know the facts:

  • Legitimate lottery companies never demand payments before releasing winnings.
  • You must purchase a lottery ticket to win the lottery.
  • You cannot win overseas lotteries unless you have visited that country and bought a ticket there.

How to report it

If you suspect you’re a victim of a prize scam, or attempted prize scam, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, and your local police or RCMP.  

FCNB administers and enforces legislation in the mortgage brokers, payday lenders, real estate, securities, insurance, pensions, credit unions, trust and loan companies, cooperatives, and a wide range of other consumer legislation. If your complaint relates to an area outside of FCNB’s regulated areas, we may refer you to the appropriate reporting agency or organization.