Thursday, December 01, 2016

Beware: the email that empties your bank account

Imagine getting an email that tells you that you've won millions. And all you have to do, to get those millions transferred neatly into your bank account, is reply to the sender with some information. It seems so simple and it's so irresistible.

But if you do reply, you'll find your bank account emptied, rather than bursting with cash. Because these emails - called phishing emails or 419 scam emails - are scams, designed to get innocent people like you to hand over your bank details and personal information. And if you do, they'll tell you to travel to a particular destination (at your own expense), to meet their representative and collect your prize.

But you'll find no such representative there. And the crooks will have used your personal information to gain access to your bank account, and empty it out. Once they've got your money, you'll never get it back.

Here's how the crooks get away with it:
·         The emails "look" real: The fraudsters align themselves, illegally, to real lottery companies. They'll even go so far as to use the companies' logos in the email letterhead and sign-off. Failing that, they invent a very legitimate-sounding business name (like Euro Winner Lotteries), and hope that the reader won't get suspicious.
·         The emails "sound" real: The emails read like professional and credible notices. However, in many cases, there are small grammatical or spelling errors which may tip you off.
·         The contact details shared in the email look credible: You're told to contact a Ms So-and-So, at some professional sounding office address. But in reality, this person is a cover for the criminal.

Here's what you need to know about these scams, so that you never fall victim to them.

·         If you didn't buy a lottery ticket, you can't win the prize
Think about it: If you didn't buy a lottery ticket, how would you be able to win the prize? And even if you did win, why would the company email you, rather than calling you in person?
And what if you did buy a lottery ticket (you can buy them online these days)? Then read the small print on your ticket and follow the instructions shared there for prize collection. You'll speak to someone who can verify whether or not your ticket was a winning one.

·         The email's from someone you don't know
Your parents warned you about strangers, when you were little. These strangers exist online too, and you should avoid them and their emails. Just because they've chosen to email you (rather than approach you on the street) doesn't make them any less dangerous.

·        The email asks you to share a lot of personal information
Even when you do win a cash prize, the company awarding the prize isn't going to ask you what your occupation or your home phone number is. But the crooks want this info - along with your ID number and also your bank account information - since it gives them direct access to your savings, as well as the ability to use your identity to commit fraud.
NEVER share your personal information with anyone over email.

What to do when you get this email?
Firstly, make sure you never respond to the emails.
Contact your local government; they usually have organisations set up to investigate these. You'll have to send them the original email, and any other documents relating to the email. They'll do what they can to investigate the matter.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Easy tips on how to play lottery games in South Africa

Lottery is an exciting game and is popular in almost every country in the world. European countries have EuroMillions, Australia has Powerball and it is not any different in South African where the lotto receives massive support. 

Run by the Ithuba Holdings Proprietary Limited (RF) since 2015, the South African lottery scene has undergone some changes while promising to optimise the consumer experience, restore faith and trust in the National Lottery, as well as promote a positive social contribution towards society. 

How you can start playing the South African lottery? Are you feeling lucky? Have a look below for some easy tips to get started right away. 

Where to start – At the shop vs online

The beauty of lottery lies in its simplicity. Literally anyone over the age of 18 can play from any part of South Africa. There are two options, either you can play online or purchase a ticket at a shop or kiosk.

If you decide to play online, simply click on and register to create an account. Its quick, its simple and user friendly. However, a few rules do apply, such as the need to be the holder of valid a South African identity document and you have to be over the age of 18. Once registered, all you have to do is log into your account and enjoy playing the lottery from the comfort of your home. No hassle. 

Instead of registering another account with more passwords and account details to remember you can also play the South African lottery directly from your online banking platform if you bank with First National Bank (FNB) or Nedbank. Simply follow the instructions on the site to get your tickets.
Should you wish to play the South African lottery at a shop, most high street retailers such as Pick 'n Pay, Shoprite, Checkers and Spar have kiosks. Some smaller corner shops and forecourt shops at petrol stations also sell lottery tickets.

To purchase your ticket choose your lucky numbers, pay for the ticket and write your name on the back of it. Watch the live draws on Wednesday's and Saturday's or cross check the boards at the place you purchased your ticket to see if you are a winner.

Games – the choice is yours
South African National Lottery consists of many different games and those are the basic Lotto, Lotto Plus, Powerball, Powerball Plus and SportsTake 13.  Find out more about the options available here

Some easy tips
Although winning a lottery is often stereotyped as pure luck, getting few tips on how to play can’t hurt anyone, can it?
  • Do not pick a set of all odds or all even numbers. The odds of this happening are quite slim, so rather choose a combination of let us say 3 odds and 3 even numbers. 
  • Repeating numbers. Try to look out for a number that was repeated in few lotto draws. Usually those numbers will affect your whole number selection. 
Have you always been dreaming of the day when you become the next lucky lottery winner? Do not wait around for luck to find you, go ahead and play some Lotto.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How the lottery helped someone with MS

Having a friend with MS and another's brother with the same condition, I could not help but want to share this story with our readers.

It is amazing how stress plays such an important role in our lives proven especially when the stress is taken away.

This article is courtesy of the National Lottery Website.

Dione and Richard Buss won a Lotto jackpot in 2013. This is the story of how the win made a huge difference to their life.
For many years, Dione Buss could be forgiven for thinking that Lady Luck had deserted her. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when her only daughter was just a few months old, she worked for the next 19 years despite regular flare ups which sometimes confined her to a wheelchair.

Dione, 50, recalls, “I’ll never forget the first time I realised something was terribly wrong. Harriet was just three months old, and I couldn’t do the poppers up on her babygrow. My fingers didn’t have the dexterity or strength.

“When I was diagnosed with MS a few months later, I went into denial. At first, I couldn’t even face telling my friends or colleagues at work. Over the years I would have regular flare ups where my legs would literally just go from under me for no reason and my right-hand side would be paralysed.”

Working part time for Bristol City Council because her health was failing, Dione suffered a major relapse in August 2013, the day before daughter Harriet’s 19th birthday. Dione says, “It was like being trapped, and I felt such a burden [for] my family. Harriet had to help me in and out of the bath, and I couldn’t walk so my family and friends came to visit me. I hated taking time off work, but I missed almost seven weeks which was a frustrating and lonely experience. I felt that life was so bleak.”

By September 2013 Dione had recovered enough for a pre–booked holiday in St Ives with husband Richard, 51. Back home, the Lottery ticket they had purchased on holiday was nearly thrown out. Dione says, “Richard checked the first draw, saw we hadn’t won and put the ticket on the recycling pile ready to go in the bin. I found it, realised there was another draw still on Saturday, and put the ticket away safely.

“We used the same combination of family birthdays and house numbers, so we would have been devastated if the ticket had been thrown away by mistake.”

Instead, that Saturday the couple found their fortunes changing at last – scooping a £1,888,630 jackpot. They spent their win on a new family home complete with paddock and two horses for Harriet, a holiday home in St Ives and a dream trip to see the Great Wall of China.

Life changing

But it is health, more than wealth, which has truly turned Dione’s life around.

She says, “I was working 30 hours a week, and as soon as I won, I gave up my job. It had a huge [effect] on my MS. For the last 15 years, I had suffered from regular relapses. But after winning the lottery I had just one minor relapse when we went to a Christmas market in Berlin and I collapsed in the hotel.”

“Since then, my medication has been changed and my new pace of life, plus the fact I don’t have to worry about the bills, has seen a dramatic effect on my health. I feel better than I have done for years.”

Now that Dione is well and enjoying her new home – a barn conversion nestled beside the Quantock hills – she is determined to repay the Bristol and Avon Multiple Sclerosis Centre.

Dione says, “When we realised we had won the Lottery I couldn’t sleep a wink. But even through the shock, I remember thinking I wanted to do something to help the MS centre.

“The doctors and nurses are all like family. The unit has merged to provide care for patients with MS, Parkinsons, Dementia and Epilepsy, and the new building houses a café which will raise money for further research.

“When they told me they needed volunteers, I thought: “I’ll give my time.” A couple of times a month I drive 90 miles to work an entire day in the café. I have always wanted to give something back to the medical teams who have helped me – and now I finally have the time to help out.”

Dione can now reflect on the real value of her life changing win. “The Lottery has given me time to recover my health, and time to devote myself to helping others – and you simply can’t put a price on that.”

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Pets saved by the lottery

We loved this story so much, we had to share it with you.
They are the pets who hit the jackpot – when their National Lottery winning owners decided to take on animals who needed love, patience and a whole load of luck. Here we meet one of the adored pets who were saved by the Lottery.

Former hair salon owner Susan Herdman won £1.1MMillion in January 2010. She lives with her partner Andrew in North Yorkshire. When Susan volunteered at an animal rescue sanctuary in Ireland, a tiny puppy with thee-and-a-half legs melted her heart. Here Susan tells the story of Logan.

"I will never forget the first time I saw Logan because it was love at first sight. As a volunteer helping out at the Animal Heaven Rescue Centre in Castle Island, I was asked to clean a stable which held some puppies.


Logan was at the back of the stable and as I leant down, he tried to climb onto my lap. I picked him up and he stared up at me as if he could see right into my soul. Then he tucked his head under my chin and gave a deep, contented sigh. I was just in pieces.

Over the next two days I kept going back to the stable for cuddles. The lady who rescued him found him at a cage in an animal fair and sale. When she asked about him, she was told he was going to be drowned because he only had half a front leg. I asked if I could adopt Logan, and take him home to join my four-year-old chocolate lab Senna. When they said yes, it was like winning the Lottery again.

I returned home, and met Logan the following week when the rescue centre had a delivery to Birmingham. Logan was handed to me and when he saw me again he went mad with joy. I took him home and Senna wasn’t happy about the new arrival for three weeks. But then one day I found them curled together, fast asleep – with Logan lying on Senna’s back. He had won her over – just as he does with everyone else.

A new life

Logan’s happiness is infectious. His favourite food is chicken and I spoil him rotten. He travels the country with us in a luxury motorhome. The Lottery allowed me to volunteer for the shelter, and bought Logan and I together. I would never have been able to have him if I still worked full time as the owner of a hair salon. It gave me a new life – and Logan a complete new chance at life.

I thought I might pay for him to have a prosthetic front leg built, so he could run on four legs again. I sent X-rays to the TV Supervet, Noel Fitzpatrick, along with a video of Logan walking. But Noel got back to us and said the deformity was too far up the shoulder for a false leg to work. He said Logan was managing fine on the legs he had.

Watching him race around on his three legs shows me what a great spirit he has – a little dog with a huge heart.”

Source: National Lottery Website

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