Beware of Lottery Scams

Legitimate lotteries never ask players for up front money to collect a prize. Keep these things in, and you will never be a victim of Lottery Fraud. Here are some red flags to look our for so that you can avoid being scammed.

  • If someone says you have won a lottery that you have never played, that’s a red flag.
  •  If you have caller ID on your phone, check the caller's area code.  If it's from a foreign country, that's a red flag.  Also, be aware that some con artists use technology that allows them to disguise their area code.
  • If an email detailing a lottery win or promotion contains misspellings or poor grammar, that’s a red flag.
  • If you are told that you need to keep your "win" confidential, that’s a red flag.
  • No real lottery tells winners to put up their own money to collect a prize they have already won.  If you must pay a fee to collect your winnings, that’s a red flag.
  • Just because a real lottery is mentioned does not necessarily make it a real prize. Treat it as a red flag until proven otherwise. Someone may be using the lottery's name without its permission or knowledge.
  • If they offer to wire the "winnings" directly into your bank account, that’s a red flag. Do not give them your bank account information.
  • If you are told that you can "verify" the prize by calling a certain number, that’s a red flag. The number may be part of the scam. Look up the name of the lottery or organization on your own to find out its real contact information.
  • If you think someone on the phone is trying to scam you, that’s a red flag. Trust your gut and hang up. If you engage in conversation, your name and contact information could end up on a list that's shared with other scammers.

Learn more about Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams.


Scam Alert

Make a Difference! Report Lottery Scams.

If you have been the victim of a fake lottery scam, or if you have received a message that you think is suspicious, contact the Federal Trade Commission, the DC Metropolitan Police Department's Financial Crimes and Fraud Unit or the DC Lottery’s Security team by phone at 202-645-9009 or email at report can make a difference!

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