The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued guidance to the general public on how to spot potential lottery scams that target consumers during the festive period.

The regulator published its latest guidance on how to spot fraudulent lotteries, providing a checklist that the public should undertake before taking part in any festive prize draws.

It warned consumers to be wary of any lottery that requires customers to send cash overseas or to phone an international or premium rate number.

The UKGC noted that under current UK advertising codes, no licensed gambling service can use catchphrases such as ‘winning will change your life’ as the advertisement of participation being a solution to financial difficulties is prohibited.

Should consumers be approached online via an email, on social media or direct message, the Commission has advised not to click on any promotional link and instead search for the lottery’s credibility independently.

If a lottery is being advertised on Facebook, the UKGC recommends checking that the Facebook page has been verified, adding that no licensed gambling operator can send promotional materials from a personal email account.

The Commission reminded the public as well that before taking part in any festive lottery, check that it is licensed by the Gambling Commission or a local authority.

If the lottery claims to be raising funds for a well-known charity, contact the organisation beforehand to see if it is legitimate, it advised.

During the festive period, the UKGC warned consumers to be extra diligent with regards to reviewing promotions sent by gambling firms to look out for inconsistent terms and conditions.

Victims of lottery scams and people that wish to report a fraudulent lottery have been asked to get in contact with the police’s ‘Action Fraud’ department.