Avoiding Lottery Scams

If you, or someone else you know, gets a call, a letter, or an email letting them know that they’ve won a foreign lottery, and just need to send someone a ‘small’ amount of money to claim their prize, or provide personal bank account information, do not respond and do not send anything.

Foreign lottery scams are rampant and the people who run them prey on seniors. Worse, once a person responds, they are likely to receive repeated contact from scammers.

Here are a few things to watch out for, as reported by the U.S. Department of State:

  • If you did not purchase a lottery ticket in a foreign country, you probably didn’t win.
  • No legitimate lottery requests advance fees to claim your prize.
  • Government run lotteries choose television, radio, or newspapers to advertise winners.
  • You may be asked to keep your winning secret for “security reasons.”