Lions Club reminding public about value of its lottery after scam call

The Estevan Lions Club is reminding the public about the importance of its lottery, and how to know if they’ve won a prize, after a report came into the Estevan Police Service about a Lions Lottery scam.

The May 25 edition of the Estevan Police Service report said that police received a complaint about an attempted fraud. The EPS reminds the public not to provide any personal or financial information to anyone they do not know and to check FraudBusters online if they think the phone call or email is fraudulent or sounds too good to be true.

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Acting Police Chief Warren Morrical said this type of fraudulent activity is encountered frequently by residents of Estevan, but he is not aware of any other instances recently in which the contact person has indicated they were associated with a Lions Club. 

In this occurrence, the complainant was provided a telephone number to call to speak with a “Lions Club Agent” and in doing so provided some personal information. 

There has been no reported loss by the individual. The matter remains under investigation by the EPS and has been further forwarded on to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre for their follow-up.

Estevan Lions Club president Ed Sinclair said this is the first time that he has heard of the scam, and once he was made aware of it, he did some research and saw that Lions International had an advisory on its website regarding a fraudster claiming to be a Lion.

The lottery is the major fundraiser for the Estevan Lions Club, as this is when they receive much of the money for the work they do in the community.

The Lions Club supports youth in sports organizations and culture activities such as the Estevan and District Music Festival. They organize the Family Day free swim each year, and sponsor the disc golf course at Torgeson Park. They also support the Rusty Duce Playpark.

Other initiatives include scholarships for the Southeast College and Estevan Comprehensive School; and support for the new Estevan Regional Nursing Home committee, the Habitat for Humanity Estevan chapter, the Salvation Army’s Food Bank, the STARS Air Ambulance and individuals with needs.

“The Lions Club lottery is strictly for community services within our Estevan area,” said Sinclair.

It’s a year-round lottery whose first draw for the 2020-21 season was Oct. 16 of last year. Its final draw will be Oct. 8 of this year. There will be a draw for at least $300 each week, and larger draws a few times during the year.

He described it as a 50-50 draw that generates about $20,000 in net revenues for the club. It’s been around for about 45 years.

The Lions will start selling tickets for the 2021-22 lottery in late September or early October.

“We are … individuals in the community going out and meeting the community people where we can. I know with COVID we did do a lot more telephone calls as initial contact in the last year. Generally we don’t do that. We like to get out and meet the public personally. We go out and beat the concrete and talk to people.”

People who have purchased a ticket through the lottery typically know the person who sold them the ticket.

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