OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 19, 2015) - The Oklahoma Lottery Commission is warning Oklahomans of an old scam that has resurfaced and is affecting residents throughout the state.
Scammers are calling Oklahomans claiming to be representatives of the Oklahoma Lottery Commission and are telling residents that they have won prizes in excess of $8.5 million, which will be paid out once they receive 5% to cover taxes. The scammers are actually based out of various locations across the nation and, when questioned for additional information, claim to be telecommuters working for the Lottery. They also claim to be authorized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is also untrue. Some of the numbers associated with the scam are (239) 400-1381 and (412) 339-2646.
Lottery Executive Director Rollo Redburn warns that "these scammers are not associated with any officially recognized lottery. No legitimate lottery organization will ask for up-front payment(s) in order to claim a prize." Redburn also pointed out that "When you play a lottery game, lottery employees don’t know the identity of winners until they come forward to claim their prize; and, if you didn’t buy a lottery ticket or personally enter a drawing, you won’t be winning a lottery prize so don’t respond to someone calling and asking for your personal information."
The Oklahoma Lottery security department urges anyone who receives a communication that could be a potential scam to contact the Attorney General’s Office (405.521.3921) or the Federal Trade Commission (877.382.4357). If anyone receives messages similar to the above, they can call the lottery to verify the source at 405.522.7700.
Prizes exceeding $600 can be claimed at the Oklahoma Lottery Headquarters, any Authorized Lottery Claim Center or by mail. Prizes of $5,001 or more must be claimed through Lottery Headquarters in Oklahoma City.
Net proceeds of all Lottery games are used to support improvements and enhancements for Oklahoma education. More than $699 million has been contributed to education since November 2005 with funds appropriated by the State Legislature to pay debt service on a higher education capital bond issue; to pay support salaries for public schools and for equipment, scholarships and other purposes at our career and technology education institutions.