June, 28 2017 - “You’ve won the lottery!” It’s something that many people want to hear. But sometimes those words come from scammers who are trying to steal your money. Some of those scammers have falsely identified themselves as being affiliated with Mega Millions. No representative of Mega Millions would ever call or e-mail anyone about winning a prize.
Most recently, these scams use important-sounding names like “United States National Lottery,” “Mega Millions Mobile Lottery,” "USA UK Mega Millions Lottery," “Mega Millions Corporation” or “Mega Millions International Lottery” – these are all attempts to look legitimate in order to scam people out of their money. None of these so-called entities exist – again, Mega Millions is a game, not an organization.
Read more on scammers falsely use Mega Millions name at http://www.megamillions.com/lottery-scams.
The Federal Trade Commission has more information on fake lottery and other scams at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0086-international-lottery-scams. To file a complaint or get free information call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). If you have been the victim of a scam, contact your local police or sheriff’s office or state police.
October, 27 2016 - The Oklahoma Lottery has been informed about recent reports to law enforcement of an advance fee scam involving the Mega Millions jackpot game, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC).
"Individuals in other jurisdictions have been contacted with a very convincing memorandum claiming to be from both the FBI and FDIC, advising the recipient that they have won a large Mega Millions prize", according to Rollo Redburn, Executive Director of the Lottery. "The fabricated memorandums request the recipient, as the winner, to wire transfer money as directed in order to secure the winnings. The documentation sent to victims includes letterhead that appears to be from the FBI and FDIC." Redburn went on to say "If Oklahomans haven’t yet been contacted, it likely will not be long before they are - do not reply to this type of letter, it is NOT from the Lottery."
The Lottery reminds players that no advance fees are required to secure winnings, nor would either of the above mentioned agencies be contacting an individual about lottery winnings.
If you believe you have won a lottery prize, you may check your ticket at a Lottery retailer, check the Lottery website at www.lottery.ok.gov or call Lottery headquarters at (405) 522 7700.
Anyone receiving a scam memorandum such as that listed above are encouraged to file a report with the FBI at www.IC3.gov.
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 email@example.com, 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.
Thank you for playing the Oklahoma Lottery. Please play safely and responsibly and be alert to possible lottery scams.