Scammers Prey on WhatsApp, Facebook Users with Fake Lottery Offers

Representational image (Photo: The Sun Daily)

Xieng Khouang Provincial authorities have issued a public warning following reports of individuals falling victim to a fraudulent lottery scheme. The provincial Public Security Office has expressed concern over the scam, which has allegedly been orchestrated through social media platforms.

According to the warning, a group of scammers has been actively deceiving individuals since early 2012. The fraudulent scheme operates by advertising six-number lotteries in Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand on platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook.

The scammers promise participants a chance to win LAK 400 million (USD 18,766) in prize money by selecting the correct six numbers for a mere LAK 1,000 (USD 0.047). However, the victims are instructed to pay a sum of money in exchange for the supposedly winning numbers. However, victims soon discover that they must pay additional sums for the supposed winning numbers. When the lottery results are announced, victims receive incorrect numbers or no information at all, resulting in widespread financial fraud.

Upon realizing the scam, victims attempt to contact the perpetrators via provided chat lines, only to find that the phone numbers are inactive and the culprits untraceable.

In addition to the fraudulent lottery scheme, authorities have also warned the public about a separate scam involving false loan advertisements. Scammers pose as legitimate banking institutions, offering loans without collateral requirements, simply requiring an ID card for application.

Additionally, other fraudulent entities claim to represent companies offering high-interest loans exceeding banking limits. Victims are enticed to invest large sums of money with promises of substantial returns, only to find the company representatives vanish without a trace.

The authorities are urging the public to remain vigilant and exercise caution when engaging in financial transactions, particularly those conducted through social media platforms. All individuals are advised to verify the legitimacy of offers and refrain from sharing personal or financial information with unknown entities to prevent falling victim to such scams.