Beware of Lottery Scams

Imagine waking up to an email saying you’ve won the lottery. Sounds pretty great, right? Unfortunately, a lot of scammers and con artists are using these kinds of messages to trick people into giving away their personal information – and even their money.

That doesn’t mean you can’t feel safe while playing the lottery online. Keep reading for important information on how lottery scams work, how to avoid them, and what theLotter Oregon is doing to protect your information, account, and winnings.

You have to play to win!

To avoid lottery scams it’s important to remember how lotteries work.

You must buy a ticket to a lottery draw to have any chance of winning it. Any message from out of the blue about a lottery you didn’t enter or suggesting you’ve “been randomly selected” is a fraudulent claim.

Also, lottery winnings must be claimed by the winner. There is no way for a lottery to know who has purchased a ticket and won a prize. An Oregon Lottery representative will never call, text, or email you to say you’ve won a prize.

How to spot a fake lottery winning message

Scam emails claiming to be from state or national lotteries may look real and may even display authentic-looking logos. Still, there are ways to spot a fake lottery winning message. Watch out for misspellings and grammatical errors that an official organization probably wouldn’t make.

Keep in mind that a legitimate organization will never contact you this way. Make sure not to click on any links in unsolicited emails and to delete any suspicious messages. Don’t call or speak on the phone with anyone you think might be part of a lottery scam.

Tips to protect yourself from lottery fraud

To make sure you don’t fall victim to lottery fraud, there are some things you should never do.

Never give out personal information to anyone promising lottery prizes. You do not need to give personal or financial information in order to claim a lottery prize. Do not give bank account information to someone offering to wire your ‘winnings.’

Never pay a fee to collect a prize. There are no ‘processing fees’ for claiming prizes when you win an official lottery. Common fee scams include paying a deposit, paying to win a prize, and paying to redeem a ‘winning ticket.’ These scammers may even send you a check as part of their request for fees, but these checks will bounce if you try to deposit them.

Avoid the Facebook lottery scam

Scammers also use social networks such as Facebook and Instagram to reach victims. The Oregon Lottery, or any other legitimate lottery organization, will never contact you through social media to tell you’ve won or to ask you to pay fees.

A common Facebook lottery scam involves a stranger claiming to have won the lottery and offering to share their winnings with you. These offers are not legitimate, so don’t trust anyone you don’t know.

theLotter Oregon is safe

At theLotter Oregon, your personal and payment details are completely safe and secure.

theLotter Oregon isn’t a representative of an official lottery organization, we’re a ticket messenger service that purchases lottery tickets on your behalf. The only fee we charge is for buying your tickets. You choose how you want us to contact you if you win and you can change your notification settings on our site at any time.

When you receive an email or SMS from theLotter Oregon, you can always safely log in to your account and verify the information yourself. For prizes under $600 we transfer the winnings to your online lottery account once we receive them from the official lottery operator. For prizes larger than $600, we make sure that you get the winning ticket yourself so that you can personally claim the prize at an Oregon Lottery office.

Whatever you win is all yours. theLotter Oregon will never charge a fee or take a commission on your lottery prize and whenever you play you're also contributing to good causes in Oregon.

How to report a lottery scam

You can report an attempted scam to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-Help or at the FTC Consumer Information Website. If you have been the victim of a scam, contact your local police, sheriff’s office, or state police as soon as possible.

Also, contact the Oregon State Police Lottery Security Section immediately at 503-540-1000.

You can find more information on player protection at the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries and World Lottery Association