The simplest answer is yes, it is safe to play lotteries online. However, it’s important to note that, much like most things on the internet, it’s not as simple as it seems; there will always be two sides to a coin. While it is generally safe to purchase lottery tickets on third party websites, remember that online scammers lurk around every corner of the worldwide web. It always helps to proceed with caution, but what’s even more important is to be knowledgeable. Here are some tips:
Who Falls for Scams?
Scammers usually target an individual’s weaknesses. In the case of online lotteries, a lotto player’s desire to win is one of the easiest to exploit. It’s easy to overlook red flags when faced with the possibility of winning thousands—or even millions—of dollars.
However, letting your guard down and throwing caution to the wind is exactly what scammers are counting on. I’ll go into more detail how you can avoid getting scammed in another article, but I will say this: As a general rule of thumb, if an offer looks too good to be true, it usually is.
What Are the Hallmarks of Safe Online Lotteries?
It’s easy to spot online lottery scams if you know what to look for, but it’s even easier to identify legitimate lottery sites because they promote security and transparency. An online lottery site that doesn’t have security measures in place or is tight lipped about their policies should make you think twice before clicking the “buy” button.
If one or both are nowhere in sight, then chances are that the lottery site in question isn’t legit. Of course, there’s a bit more to it than that, so let’s explore what makes an online lottery site safe.
Security and Trust Logos
Legitimate lottery sites openly display various security and trust logos on their websites. The logos on display are usually different for every website, but these usually come from trusted online security companies. If you see logos from VeriSign, GeoTrust, McAffee Secure, or Norton, then you can be sure of the legitimacy of the website. It’s important to note that some security and trust logos can come from lesser known companies. Don’t jump to conclusions and assume the worst if you don’t see their website rocking a GeoTrust logo.
Logos are well and good, but anyone can fake them. If you don’t bother clicking on them to verify their legitimacy, you might just get scammed. SSL encryption, on the other hand, is tougher for run-of-the-mill scammers to fake. For the uninitiated, SSL encryption secures the sensitive data that you give to a website.
A lottery site usually tells you upfront that they have this security measure, but it’s better to check for yourself. When you are about to enter your credit card details or other sensitive information, the site’s URL should be green and have an image of a padlock—or just the padlock. Either way, these are signs that a website is protected by SSL encryption.
License and Regulations
Any legitimate lottery site must be duly licensed and regulated by a gaming commission. This ensures that the company is adhering to local and international regulations and can be held liable if they fail to award prizes to winners.
Open to Communication
Legitimate lottery sites usually have support channels that you can access. Some offer online forms, email addresses, live chat, and even live phone support. Often, an active presence on social media, like Facebook, Twitter, or even YouTube, demonstrate a company’s willingness to maintain an open dialogue with its customers. Reviews, whether positive or negative, can help you decide to buy or not to buy.
The Bottom Line
Playing lotteries online is fun and can be rewarding experience as long as you are on a legit website. Legitimate lottery sites offer a secure gaming experience and don’t hide behind a veil of anonymity. If you find a lottery site that does not possess any of the characteristics I mentioned above, move on to the next one.