Social media is the way many people around the world learn about things going on in their communities and beyond their borders. You probably know, by now, that legitimate businesses, government entities, and civic authorities use social media, with great success to promote their endeavors, spread important information, and make the general public aware of great sales, upcoming product releases, and so much more.
Social media is even used successfully by many lottery organizations, including the Florida lottery, to share winning moments, make important public service announcements, and post winning lottery numbers on the Web. The state of Florida even took to social media to encourage the winner of a $70,000 prize to come forward before the ticket expired on June 26, 2019.
What you may not know, though, is that social media is also being used by criminals to target unsuspecting people through networks like Twitter, Facebook, and even through mobile phone text messages. Popular scams include cash prices, new cars, vacations, and electronics. Some promise big money for winners, with small caveats, such as tax payments upfront, processing fees, insurance expenses, and more.
Most Americans would be shocked to learn the extent of money lost to scammers like these, with Fox32 reporting that Americans lose staggering sums of money greater than $100 million each year to scams like these and goes on to caution viewers that they should never pay fees to win free prizes.
Taking a “trust but verify” approach to lotteries and such online is a great way to go. Most state lotteries, like Florida, post winning numbers daily so residents can check their numbers to see if they’ve won. This allows people to verify their winnings before coming forward to claim their prizes. Also, winners should always go through proper channels to claim their prizes.
One thing people can do is to exercise caution when accepting prizes. For instance, if they don’t remember signing up for a free trip drawing, new car, or lottery prize, then it’s quite likely the prize is not legitimate and could end up costing them far more than they would like.
As for lottery prizes, check the numbers online and verify with the number in hand to ensure you have a winner. Then submit through the lottery authority in your state to obtain your winnings so you can take your walk on easy street. Fortunately, social media makes something like tracking winning lottery numbers even simpler.