The general rule is that if a competition holder asks you to pay money in order to release winnings, it is generally to good to be true.
It is estimated that over 4 million dollars has be lost to fraudsters since the middle of last year in a Chinese run scratch and win ticket scam. The scam, in which individuals are sent scratch tickets in the mail, encourages individuals to contact the prize sponsor for collection of their winnings. However in order to receive their large sum of winnings the victims are asked to pay upfront fees of around $20,000-$30,000.
While this style of criminal fraud is not uncommon, it was the fact that the tickets were sent in the post which mislead a lot of the victims into believing the competition was genuine. As we learn more about the ways in which fraudsters operate society is becoming more aware of the different types of scams being run especially ones that are computer based.
However as shown in this instance, it is more common for individuals to let their guard down when they receive a competition envelope in the mail.