PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Scammers have tried every trick in the book, and now they’re trying to use the lottery to go after your money, your bank account and your credit card numbers.
Out of the blue, you’re told you’ve won a massive cash prize. Maybe they call you on the phone, send a letter or email, or contact you on Facebook.
It seems like it’s on the up-and-up because it mentions Mega Millions or Powerball, but the Pennsylvania Lottery is telling everyone: don’t fall for it.
Lottery officials put out a warning Thursday that scams are going around with people posing as lottery employees, claim officers or claim agents. Some even offer a badge number or other made-up information to sound legit. Sometimes they send a legitimate-looking check as a partial payment of your big win.
Lottery officials say then they say you need to pay a processing fee or taxes on your winnings. They want your credit card or bank routing numbers. Sometimes they tell you to call a phone number to “verify” the prize, and they tell you to keep your big win a secret.
While the thought of free money may be tempting, the lottery said rememeber this one simple thing: you cannot win a prize for a contest you did not enter.
“It’s really important to remember the only way to win is to buy a lottery ticket or enter a real second-chance drawing,” Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko said, “and no real lottery will ever ask you to pay up-front taxes or fees.”