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Protect Yourself From Scammers!

RELEASE DATE: 3/8/2024

Big jackpots capture the attention of the public and the media, leading to excitement about the possibilities of a big win! At the same time, they draw more attention from would-be scammers. While people need to be vigilant at all times, this is especially true during periods of larger jackpots.

Surefire signs of a scam include:
  • An email, a message via text or social media, or phone call saying that you have won a big prize, often including cash and a car. The reality is that lotteries have no idea who holds a winning ticket until the winner submits a claim. (There are rare exceptions in the case of legal online play within the few American jurisdictions that offer that option, but you still must have first purchased a ticket from that lottery.)
  • You receive a “winning” notice and you are outside the United States. Real lotteries do not hold international sweepstakes, contests or awards for people who live outside their market area. Mega Millions, for example, is played only in the United States, so if you are outside the U.S. and someone using our name tells you that you have won a big prize, it is a scam.
  • You are asked to pay money for “taxes” or “fees,” or buy a cash card, in order to claim your “prize.” Those are dead giveaways that it’s a scam. No real lottery tells winners to put up their own money in order to collect a prize they have already won by first purchasing a real ticket.
  • Someone asks you for your personal information such as a bank account. Or tells you that you need to keep your “win” confidential.
  • Someone says you have won a lottery that you have never played. You can’t win a legitimate lottery if you didn’t first buy a ticket.
Scammers are very inventive and persistent, and can sound very convincing. Learn more here so you don't get caught in their schemes. If you have any questions about a communication you may have received, contact us or your local lottery’s customer service office.