Consumers who respond to online get-rich-quick scams are likely to have their details added to "sucker lists" which are used by scammers to identify potential victims, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has warned.
The watchdog said that it has seen copies of lists "pages long" which are swapped with other tricksters looking to target the unwary.
According to the OFT, organised criminal gangs using highly sophisticated techniques are often behind the scams, which include fake lotteries, prize draws and investment schemes.
OFT executive director Penny Boys said: "Next year there will be new frauds and swindles to part people from their money.
"Our campaign aims to equip consumers with the skills and knowledge to recognise scams, whatever their form, and prevent themselves and others from falling victim to persuasive and manipulative approaches."
The OFT explained that scammers will attempt to catch consumers unawares by making unsolicited contact by email, telephone or post.
It warned that scammers will offer tempting and 'easy' opportunities to make money, but will often ask for a deposit up front to claim a prize to cover administration fees or taxes, something no legitimate competition does.
The OFT advises consumers to be sceptical and not to send money or give out personal details to any unknown parties.
Scams the OFT warned against include telephone lottery scams, where people respond to an unsolicited email or telephone call telling them they are being entered into a prize draw.
In reality, the OFT said that the majority of those on the list will never receive the expensive item they expect.
Scams cost UK consumers £1bn a year, according to the OFT.
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