SINGAPORE – Police are on the lookout for scammers who have tricked over 55 people out of US$376,896 in an online lottery. The victims were told they could win a cash prize by replying to a message on WhatsApp. The scammers then asked the victims to provide their bank account numbers and credit card information to receive the winnings. They also promised to help them buy tickets and bribe the victims into giving away their winnings, according to Singapore media reports.
The Singapore Toto lottery is a nationwide lottery operated by Singapore Pools, the state-owned operator for lotteries and sports betting in the country. It is the only legal operator for lotteries such as 4-D, Toto and Singapore Sweep, as well as sports such as association football and motor racing bets in the country.
A large portion of the population in the country is very much into the lottery, with 52 percent of the population purchasing a ticket at least once in a year. In addition, 45 percent of the respondents purchase a ticket every week. The average annual spending per player on lottery tickets is S$1687.
Those who buy tickets frequently should know that the odds of winning are quite slim despite all the hype. In fact, there is a famous null result when the coefficient for lottery expenditure is included in happiness and life satisfaction equations — it turns out that people appear hedonically indifferent to their financial wins.