Mass Marketing Fraud

Mass marketing fraud is when you receive an uninvited contact by email, letter, phone or adverts, making false promises to con you out of money.

These fraudsters try to lure victims with false promises of large cash prizes, goods or services in exchange for upfront fees. Common mass marketing scams include foreign lotteries and sweepstakes, charity scams, clairvoyants and investment fraud. Some prize draw scams are linked to overseas (and overpriced) catalogues which promise the opportunity to win big if you keep placing orders with them.

Protect yourself:

  • If it sounds too good to be true… it's fraud!
  • Be wary of any contact asking you to keep secrets or reply quickly or risk losing your winnings.
  • Genuine prize draws and lotteries won’t ask for a fee to release your winnings.
  • Only order from reputable catalogue companies and opt out of third party marketing to prevent your details from being sold to other companies or scammers.
  • Check the authenticity of any contact that you weren’t expecting by researching the credentials online or asking for advice from Citizens Advice via their consumer helpline - 0808 223 1133.

Page last reviewed August 2022