Be Aware of Lottery Scams

As the Powerball jackpot rises, fraudsters try to take advantage of the hype surrounding it.  Be alert – if someone calls you to say you won the lottery, it is most likely a scam.

The Lottery or Sweepstakes scam begins with a phone call or a letter claiming the consumer has won a few million dollars through a lottery or sweepstakes.  In order to collect the winnings, people are told to wire a few hundred or a few thousand dollars to cover fees or taxes.  If you receive a call like this, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at or 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Signs of a lottery scam may include:

  • Winning a lottery you don't remember entering.
  • Receiving calls from a lottery or government agency saying you've won millions.
  • Receiving an unexpected check for a few thousand dollars.
  • Having to pay a fee to collect your winnings.
  • Having to send money via wire transfer or prepaid card.