Protect Yourself from ScamsNovember 3, 2016
Attempts to deceive people into believing that they have won a lottery prize are now commonplace. Scammers are looking for sensitive personal information such as a your name, address, phone number, date of birth, Social Security number, bank or credit card account number and ultimately – your money in an effort to defraud you.
•If you receive a “winning notification” by mail, email or phone that you are a West Virginia Lottery or Mega Millions or any other Lottery prize winner: The West Virginia Lottery does not send out winning notifications via postal mail. You will never be contacted by phone or email, unless you entered a specific second chance drawing from the West Virginia Lottery. There is no other circumstance where you will be contacted by us informing you that you’ve won a prize.
•If you receive a check with directions to cash and return a portion of the cash, do not respond. The check is not valid and will be returned for insufficient funds. No legitimate lottery will ever send you this type of communication.
•Do not be fooled into providing personal information to scammers. Scammers often provide Internet-based claim forms or request personal information over the phone, such as credit card or bank account information.
•If you are requested to pay a fee before winnings can be released to you, this is a fraud. Never send money. A legitimate lottery will never require you to pay money for advanced fees to cover expenses associated with the delivery of “winning prizes.”
•Never redeem a Lottery ticket for someone you do not know. Never pay cash to someone offering to sell a “winning ticket.”
•Never accept a collect phone call from someone claiming to be a Lottery official.
•Only purchase West Virginia Lottery tickets from one of our licensed lottery retailers located in the state of West Virginia.
•If you feel you have been a victim of fraud you should: Contact your state’s Attorney General to report it. Read the information and tips put out by the Federal Trade Commission about scams. Forward the suspicious email to the Federal Trade Commission’s address for unsolicited commercial email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Notify the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) of the FBI by filing a complaint on their web site at: www.ic3.gov.