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Missouri Lottery urges caution w/ potential scamsUpdated: Feb 02, 2017 11:19 AM PST
The Missouri Lottery reminds players and non-players alike to be weary of situations that seem too good to be true.
“Year after year, we see scammers developing more aggressive strategies to con innocent people into losing their hard-earned money,” said May Scheve Reardon. “Just last year we heard of a Missouri resident falling victim to one of these schemes. We want to do our part to protect our players and the citizens of Missouri.”
Often times, victims are contacted via phone, email, mail or social media by third-party individuals posing as lottery officials from other states or countries notifying the victims that they had won a large prize. Many scammers will even name lottery products – such as Powerball and Mega Millions – as a front. The scammers then tell their victims that they will need to pay “taxes” or “fees” in order to claim the prize.
“It’s unfortunate, but scams can take many deceiving forms,” said Reardon. “Some people have reported receiving letters with various lottery, FBI and FDIC letterheads promising large prizes.
“Other victims report being messaged by a hacked friend’s social media account claiming that they won a prize through the lottery. They go on to say that they want to share the prize, and that they just need a bank account number or Social Security number,” continued Reardon.
Anyone receiving such correspondence should proceed with caution and consider the claim’s legitimacy by keeping in mind that:
- The Missouri Lottery has no way of knowing who has won a Draw Game or Scratchers prize until a winner claims a prize at a Lottery office or licensed retail location;
- The Missouri Lottery requires that any person wishing to claim a prize of more than $600 needs to supply a claim form with their ticket;
- The Missouri Lottery does not require a winner to provide money upfront to claim a prize; and
- The Missouri Lottery does not collect personal information – such as Social Security numbers and bank account numbers – over the phone.
If you think you’ve been contacted by a fraudulent organization or scammer suggesting lottery winnings, contact the Attorney General’s Fraud Hotline (800-392-8222) or the Missouri Lottery (573-751-4050) to report suspicious activity.