Warning over FIFA World Cup football lottery scam

Published by Laura Whitcombe on 30 January 2014.
Last updated on 30 January 2014

Beware fraudulent letters claiming you have won a big cash prize in the "International FIFA World Cup Online Lottery".

The letters are being sent out by scammers posing as affiliates of international football associations in an attempt to get hold of your personal details.

Suffolk Trading Standards has issued a warning about the scam after being sent a copy of the letter by a local resident. The letter suggests the recipient has won £500,000 in a lottery to promote the FIFA World Cup.

To get hold of the prize, the winner is then asked to "begin your claims" [sic] by contacting a Dr Chris Evans at Excel Security Company on what appears to be a London-based landline or fax number and a UK mobile.

Suffolk Trading Standards said that scam victims are then asked to make an upfront payment "to enable them to enter the tender process for a prize that does not exist".

FIFA has confirmed the letters are fraudulent and have nothing to do with FIFA or the 2014, 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup tournaments.

Suffolk Trading Standards urged individuals to remember that none of the official lotteries from other countries contact people to tell them of their win.

"Always remember if you haven't entered a lottery, then you can't have won it," it said.

Here are some top tips for spotting a scam:

1. Remember the old adage 'if it looks too good to be true, it probably is'.
2. Always be wary of any scheme that asks for money upfront. This is most likely a form of 'advance-fee' fraud.
3. Alarm bells should ring if you're pressurised into making a decision quickly. Giving the impression that consumers have to move fast to secure that 'special offer' or 'investment opportunity' is a classic scam tactic.
4. Look out for bad grammar and spelling in unsolicited correspondence – letters, emails or texts – as this is often an indication that they have originated for abroad. Legitimate organisations employ people to grips with spelling and grammar.

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Received one of these letters

Received one of these letters myself today, realised it had to be scam as hadn't entered any "International FIFA world cup online lottery". I now have to explain to my 6yr and 11yr old what a scam is and why people would do this after they overheard me talking, they were already making a list of things they wanted to get with their share.

My wife got one of these

My wife got one of these letters today. Of course, we recognised it as a scam and will not take matters any further. Just thought people should know about this.

An elderly lady (93) who I

An elderly lady (93) who I take shopping received one of these. Fortunately she asked me to check it out. She is very angry at being a target of a scam. Thank you for posting the warning.

got 1 of these letters today

got 1 of these letters today saying won £ 725,000,00 knew was a scam but some people don't they nee to be stopped

I have received one of these

I have received one of these letters realised it was a scam as it told me not to inform anyone about it these people need to be caught targeting vulnerable people

l got one of these today l

l got one of these today l thought my luck had finally changed, l telephoned the number as it came in a Royal Mail letter, and found a man on the end of line who could not hardly speak English from a London address, he told me l had won 800,000 and would send me a cheque, l now
realise after investigating the matter it is a scam do not give them any details or bank account details.

My wife received one of these

My wife received one of these letters today, but before I binned it, thought I'd read your article about them. Our one had the head office as being in Chicago, USA, but the wording and presentation were very similar to your 2014 version. Is the matter being looked into to try to prevent this from continuing? I would happily scan and send you the copy of our letter, if it would help anyone trying to do this.

An 84 year old lady I know

An 84 year old lady I know just brought me a letter saying she had won £825,000,000 from an American address. She suspected that it was a scam but obviously we all live in hope that it’s genuine as that is what theyre hoping for isn’t it I’ve not seen evidence before so I checked it out on the internet for her and now she is content..

Just looking this up to prove

Just looking this up to prove to a neighbour that it's a scam. I love the beautifully ironic last sentence in your article!

Got my winning letter today

Got my winning letter today from a Nicholas Murray, the vice president no less saying I had won £825,000.