Vaccine lottery scam alert | World Health Organization warns against new scams

Senior Reporter

Vaccinated folks are awaiting a potential prize draw that could change their lives. And while many have already been randomly selected for various cash winnings and generous perks, thousands of overly excited individuals fell for scams that came with painful, nonrefundable aftermath. It’s easy to think that falling for a scam is a foolish mistake, but con artists never miss a chance to develop a new scheme that can be surprisingly convincing - even to the vigilant eye. This week, the World Health Organization made efforts to alert the vaccinated against compensation scammers impersonating Capital Finance.

Vaccine lottery scam alert | World Health Organization warns against new scams
Image: pixabay.com

A double-take combats convincing scams

Scamming everyday individuals with fake vaccine lottery winnings is unquestionably evil. But con artists are now indulging in next-level wickedness, making false promises masking as US$1 million lottery compensation prize payments for losses and damages suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This new scheme targets individuals who went through traumatic experiences and draining situations that left them stranded financially. Unsurprisingly, sleazy tricksters aren’t phased by the pain they bring to their hopeful victims.

The latest scam on the shelves has been exposed by The World Health Organization (WHO), urging vaccinated individuals to watch out for scammers that present themselves as Capital Finance, Inc. London. The false pretenses are used to target victims who have potentially suffered considerable losses throughout the pandemic. Email and mobile device notifications “congratulate” select individuals with a COVID-19 Lottery Compensation Prize of $1M brought by The World Health Organization.

To make the scheme more convincing, victims are being told that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) are involved in the so-called giveaways. But of course, that is all fake news, as no such lottery involving the said parties exists. The World Health Organization clarified some factors in hopes to inform potential victims and announced the following statements on their website;

  • The “COVID-19 Lottery Compensation Prize” is a fraudulent scam
  • According to our records, WHO has never appointed or entered into any contractual relationship with any entity by the name of Capital Finance, Inc
  • WHO is not involved or associated in any way with the “COVID-19 Lottery Compensation Prize” fraudulent scam
  • WHO is not offering or conducting a lottery prize to compensate individuals, whose names or contact details are purportedly selected at random, for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • WHO does not conduct lotteries and does not offer prizes, funds, certificates, bank and/or automated teller machine (ATM) cards, or compensation for Internet fraud
  • WHO does not request individuals to provide their bank accounts and/or other personal information such as copies of passports or identification cards, mailing addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, or occupations

Unfortunately, excitement quickly takes over, leaving no room for rational thinking. Such large amounts of cash can make a head spin, resulting in the abandonment of all common sense. Those who fail to do a double-take are then asked to provide personal information that is later used for alternative schemes. The scammers also ask for prompt deposits, copies of victims’ documents, address information, phone numbers, and other details that should never be shared with strangers.

Combating lottery scams

While it’s not always possible to get a refund for scams such as this one, specific measures can be taken in order to protect future victims. The World Health Organization is urging individuals who may have fallen for the scam to carefully monitor their bank accounts and ensure that they did not become subject to identity theft. Additionally, anyone involved in the scheme is advised to report to WHO, as well as authorities, as soon as they receive a compensation lottery notification engaged in contact with the scammers.

It’s easy to get distracted by convincing scam emails, professionally-built websites, or formal phone calls from genuine-sounding “representatives”. But it’s important to remember that some scammers work day and night to swindle clueless individuals with their schemes. As hard as it is to believe that such evil exists, being skeptical is essential for such matters. The number one strategy used in scams is genuine, sweet talk, which is hard not to fall since most people don’t expect scammers to engage on such a personal level. You can tell them about your dying father and an unfortunate diagnosis you’ve just received - they will keep going with no remorse.

Mental “side effects” from scams

If you have gotten scammed or fall victim to a scheme in the future - take a moment in a quiet place to deal with the potential trauma that may affect your mental state. Being cheated out of your time, money, and hope can be devastating, mainly because losing faith in humanity can grow into untamable trust issues. Having your trust undermined can begin eating into your relationships and deform your outlook on life. Keep in mind that there are more good people than there are evil in this world, and allowing some sleazy scammer to resent everyone around you will only hurt you in the end. Reporting scams is the first step you need to take, but you can also go the extra mile for your own good - forgive.

As difficult as it may be, understand that people who allow themselves to engage in such wicked activities are devoid of sentiment and are living an empty life that they are desperately trying to fill with the stolen money and suffering of their victims. That is a prison cell they lock themselves in. If you retain your joy and a grudge-free state of mind, financial losses will not have the power to ruin you. As for the scammers will never experience true peace for as long as they carry on with menacing activities. The funds they have acquired under false pretenses will never buy them harmony that you can freely obtain with the power of forgiving their evil deeds.

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