OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 6, 2015) - The Oklahoma Lottery Commission is once again warning Oklahomans of a new wave of scam letters circulating throughout the state seeking to mislead consumers into believing they have won a large sum of money.
The letters indicate they come from the Multi-State Lottery Association known as "MUSL" (a non-profit, government-benefit association owned and operated by its member lotteries), or one of the US Lotteries. The letter tells the recipient they've won a large prize. The scammers include a check as partial payment to you, a phone number to contact someone located outside of the US, and instructions on how to claim the remainder of their prize money.
When the recipient calls the phone number provided, they are told to deposit their "initial payment" check and then wire transfer a smaller amount back to the letter's sender as a fee or deposit which will allow them to receive the larger prize indicated in the letter. The check deposited by the recipient then bounces, but only after the wire transfer has gone through successfully. If the recipient calls the scammers to complain, they will be told that errors have occurred, and to keep sending additional wire transfers.
"The information in these letters is not associated with the Oklahoma Lottery," said Rollo Redburn, Executive Director. "The Lottery will never ask you to send an up-front payment in order to claim a prize. In addition, we don't know the identity of winners until they come forward to claim their prize. Do not let these people get into your life or the lives of anyone you know. They are bad news and will not stop until they take all you have."
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 ever receives calls or letters 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 $652 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.