Someone Stole Your Lottery Winnings? Here Is How to Fight Back!

Someone Stole Your Lottery Winnings? Here Is How to Fight Back!

There are some pretty shady people around the world these days. It seems to be just a fact of life nowadays, however, if you’ve hit the big time and won the lottery, beating all the odds and you’re already spending those lottery winnings in your head. Well, before you have the funds in your hand, what do you do if you find that possibility cruelly snatched out of your hands?

I’m not talking about thinking you’ve won when you haven’t, I’m talking about, yes, you’ve won, but someone has stolen your lottery winnings and run away with them.

Is it a crime?

Well, yes, strictly speaking, it is theft and should be treated as such – if you can prove it.

It’s worth pointing out that as soon as you purchase a lottery ticket, whether it’s one or twenty, you should put your name and address on the back, preferably with a signature too. Don’t go scribbling all over the bit of paper because this could be classed as disfiguring it, and then it’s void, which is not a situation you want on your hands; instead, clearly write this information on the back, out of the way of anything important.

Why?

Well then if you do win and someone steals it, they can’t claim the money, and there is much more chance of it being returned to you, its rightful owner, allowing your precious lottery winnings to arrive in your bank account, and not some fraudster instead.

Prevention Discussed, What Do You Do If the Unfortunate Occurs?

You’re onto a bit of a sticky wicket because you need to prove that the ticket was stolen, and that means you have to prove that it’s yours in the first place. If you’ve written on the back like we just mentioned, then no problem, you’re going to get your lottery winnings back, however, if you didn’t, probably because you weren’t aware you had to, then there is a long and somewhat unpredictable road ahead.

The best course of action is to contact your lottery company as soon as you notice your ticket has gone missing and report the incident, including giving information on where you bought the ticket from, when, and roughly what time of the day. From this point, your company will investigate, and it’s a case of keeping your fingers crossed. If the ticket comes to light, then there is the grey area of whether this is a legal matter or not.  You, again, have to prove that the person trying to steal your lottery winnings, is indeed doing so, and not just innocently claiming their winnings. Of course, you know they’re yours, but how can you prove it?

Again, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but listen to my advice – always write on the back!

Of course, you can throw into this mix the rather murky case of lottery fraud too, which although isn’t a case of genuine lottery winnings going missing, it is somewhat more serious, i.e., identity theft.

It happens when a company cold calls you and tells you that you’ve won the lottery in an overseas country.  Usually a prize draw of some sort, and that to claim your rightful winnings you need to a) keep it to yourself until the money is through, and b) call this rather expensive telephone number to give your details and talk to another agent.

Of course, some people put the phone down and say ‘scam’ straight away, but that’s not the case for everyone. Some people do call that number, and they will then probably be asked for ID, i.e., a copy of a passport or driving license. So far, so good? Not so – that person might then send their ID away, getting all excited about their incoming lottery winnings, only to find that their bank balance depletes rather quickly and they’re on the nasty end of a lot of trouble due to identity theft, all because they sent their precious ID to some rather unscrupulous person.

Lottery fraud, in this case, is very serious and is a definite criminal matter. Most countries have a dedicated team for this kind of thing, such as Action Fraud, whereby the matter can be investigated and righted as quickly as possible.

It never pays to be too trusting.

Of course, all this ‘what if’ and possible legal action leads us to wonder whether it’s worth the hassle, and it’s no wonder that more and more people are choosing to play the lottery online instead, a more secure and faster way to claim rightful lottery winnings in the event of hitting the big time and your numbers coming up.

If you have been the victim of your lottery winnings being stolen, then I have the utmost sympathy for you; you will be facing a hard road to prove your case, but don’t let that stop you trying. Report it as soon as possible and be prepared to fight for what is rightly yours.