If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
In other words, you don't get something for nothing.
These are old sayings, but essentially they mean the same thing and they are more appropriate than ever.
These days we are constantly bombarded by good deals and by people telling us how much money we have won, even when we have not entered any competition.
The latest is a scam letter going around containing a scratch-and-win ticket. Ivan Brown of Taradale was too smart to be caught when he scratched a ticket to find that he had won $175,000. A few things just did not add up - the cash was in US dollars and the scratch ticket was one of two which had been mailed to him personally from Malaysia.
Hawke's Bay Police crime prevention adviser Paul Miller says that although this particular scam letter is new, they "are coming out all the time. It's pretty regular these days".
The internet has just made things worse and it seems as if not a day goes by without a new email arriving to tell you how much money you have won from such and such lottery.
It does make you wonder if people fall for it, but they must do or why would the scammers keep sending them out.
The hit rate can't be very high, but it must be worth it for the conmen.
While the majority of us ignore these emails, there are obviously people who have either not encountered this before or who are so desperate they will believe anything.
This can only lead to even more pain and despair.
It is better to ignore this sort of stuff and carry on with life. If you genuinely win a competition you have entered, enjoy it.
But don't expect a big win to be just around the corner, because it is not, it is only trouble that awaits.