Canadian Facebook users should be on alert for another scam circling the online spaces. It was recently reported that fake advertisements have been going around urging people to try a free lottery game. However, the posted link takes individuals to an unrelated website which is not in any way affiliated with one of the provincial lottery corporations in the country.
Similar ads were also circulating the web earlier in July. It displayed footage of actual Lotto Max winners. This includes Adlin Lewis from Ontario who won CA$70 million in 2020, and Bon Truong who is from Alberta and took home a jackpot worth CA$60 million. These posts urge people to click on the ad and play the game.
Not Affiliated with Any Provincial Lottery
However, lottery agencies were quick to distance themselves from the circulating ads. A spokesperson for the Western Canada Lottery Corporation, Kevin van Egdom said that the Crown corporation had no connection to the fake ads or any non-lottery-related links. It advised its players to be mindful of such online ads and be careful with such links.
WCLC oversees and offers lottery products in Canada’s central and northern provinces, and also uses social media as a way of promoting its products. However, Mr. van Egdom explained that on Facebook, any posts and ads would be through WCLC’s Lotto Spot and Sport Select channels, and these posts would not promote unaffiliated websites or products.
It should also be mentioned that an AFP analysis of the Facebook Ad Library discovered that Lotto Spot’s promotions are not quite similar to fraudulent posts. These spots also provide information for customers on how to install the official Lotto Spot app. Users are advised not to click on “free” games which are not affiliated with any of the provincial lotteries.
In addition to that, the Facebook Ad Library found that the free game endorsements are not connected to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation either. Since it provides a link to the official OLG website. Meanwhile, ads in Manitoba and British Columbia also send users to official information about the fan-favourite game, Lotto Max.
It is not the first time that similar fraudulent ads have been noticed in B.C. Back in January 2022, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation warned about scammer trying to use a Lotto Max winner’s identity to trick people online and defraud them. Someone was using Lotto Max winner Christine Lauzon’s identity to try and scam people.
Toronto Scammer Busted
Recently, Alberta and Manitoba authorities informed that a 27-year-old woman from Toronto tried to scam senior citizens from the two provinces. According to law enforcement, elderly individuals were deceived into believing they had won a lottery reward. However, to claim their supposed winnings, victims were told to submit a fee first. The culprit will now face charges in court.
Source: “Fake lottery ads target Canadians on Facebook” Yahoo, July 18, 2023