The Lottery encourages Oklahomans to be aware of a potential scam seeking to trick citizens into believing they’ve won a lump sum of money. The scam is primarily focused around the Mega Millions game.
“The Lottery security department has observed an increased number of calls from people inquiring if they have actually won a prize or if the call is indeed a scam,” said Rollo Redburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Lottery.
Most of the phone calls are coming from the area code 876. The caller tells the person answering the phone that he or she has won a large sum of money and/or additional prizes such as a car or a trip. Citizens are then asked to pay taxes on the prize in up-front payments.
“The information in the phone call is not associated with the Oklahoma Lottery,” said Rollo Redburn. “The Lottery will never ask you to send an up-front payment in order to claim a prize.”
The Oklahoma Lottery security department urges anyone who receives a call that could be a potential scam to contact the Attorney General’s Office (405) 521 3921 or the Federal Trade Commission (877) 382 4357.
All Oklahoma Lottery prizes over $600 must be claimed in person either at an Authorized Oklahoma Lottery Claim Center or at Oklahoma Lottery Headquarters. All prizes over $5,000 must be claimed at Oklahoma Lottery Headquarters in Oklahoma City.
March 13, 2013 - The Oklahoma Lottery Commission received information regarding a new telephone scam. Players have reported receiving calls stating the caller is from the Oklahoma Lottery Commission and that the player has won a second chance prize. The scammers are asking for good faith money, for example $500.00, and upon receipt, the “lottery” will send them $850,000.
THIS IS A SCAM! Oklahoma Lottery winners NEVER have to send money to collect a legitimate lottery prize. If you get a phone call such as this, please take down the phone number and call the Oklahoma Lottery Security Division at (405) 522 7765.
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Attorney General’s Public Protection Unit Thursday, July 26, 2012, issued a consumer alert to warn Oklahomans about fraudulent lottery letters and e-mails.
The bogus notifications claim consumers have won a “Western Union Accredited” government lottery. Included in the correspondence is an official-looking document that asks consumers to send money or share personal information in order to collect their winnings.
“Western Union officials alerted our office to this scam,” said Tom Bates, chief of the AG’s Public Protection Unit. “By getting the word out as quickly as possible, we hope to prevent Oklahomans from becoming victims.”
Below are tips to help consumers avoid sweepstakes and lottery scams:
One of the best ways to fight scams and prevent others from becoming victims is to report such correspondence to law enforcement and the AG’s Office immediately.
The Public Protection Unit works to protect consumers from fraudulent, unfair or deceptive business practices, and can provide conciliation services to help resolve complaints against businesses.
If you have received a call about a Western Union lottery or have a question about a possible scam, contact law enforcement and the AG’s Public Protection Unit at (405) 521 2029 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or file a complaint online at www.oag.ok.gov.
If you are suspicious about any notification that you have won a prize, contact Lottery Security at (405) 522 7765.
In recent years, the Internet has become a means for criminals to defraud innocent people out of their money and identity. Fraud Watch International lists numerous lottery scams operating around the world. To view these scams, please visit Fraud Watch International’s website at http://www.fraudwatchinternational.com.
The Federal Trade Commission also has information to avoid fraudulent foreign lotteries. Visit the FTC’s website at click here.
To report suspicious lottery material contact the FTC at 1 877 FTC HELP.
In addition, several federal agencies and the technology industry provide information to help you stay on guard against Internet Fraud and how to secure your computer and personal information. The site addresses such problems as: The “Nigerian” Email scams; Phishing; work-at-home scams; weight loss claims; foreign lotteries; cure-all products; check overpayment scams; pay-in-advance credit offers; debt relief and investment schemes.
See http://onguardonline.gov/spam.html for more information.
Thank you for playing the Oklahoma Lottery. Please play safely and responsibly and be alert to possible lottery scams.