Scam targets lottery winners
Posted May 17, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Education Lottery warned players Friday to be wary of a scam that appears to be targeting lottery winners.
Some recent winners said they were contacted by someone purporting to be from the lottery and told they had won additional prizes. The callers asked the players to buy prepaid debit cards and provide the numbers so they could obtain the additional prizes.
Lottery director Alice Garland said no legitimate lottery asks winners who win a prize to pay money upfront to receive it.
“Lottery scams, unfortunately, are all too common, but they can easily be avoided by following a few common-sense guidelines,” Garland said in a statement. ”We have customer service representatives and security officials who are here to help lottery players with any questions they have about our games. Once you buy your lottery ticket, no additional money is required from you to claim a prize that you win.”
Players who win up to $599 can get their prizes at lottery retailers after a winning ticket is validated. Those who win prizes of $600 or larger must claim their prizes at one of the lottery’s regional claims centers, and those who win a prize valued at $100,000 or more must claim their prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh.
Attorney General Roy Cooper urged consumers to be careful and said that his office is available to provide assistance.
“Anyone who promises you’ve won a prize but demands money before you can claim it is trying to rip you off,” Cooper said in a statement. “Don’t take the bait, and report lottery and other prize scams to my office.”
Players who have questions about lottery games can call the lottery's customer service line at 877-962-7529, and those with a security issue can call the security hotline at 888-732-6235. Anyone who believes they have been the victim of a scam or an attempted scam can get assistance from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 877-566-7226 or 919-716-6000.