Players have reported receiving fraudulent telephone calls originating in New Jersey and are being told that they have won a Mega Millions Lottery prize and a 2018 Mercedes, requiring the mailing of a $450.00 “claim fee” to a local address.
Today, the Louisiana Lottery received an alert from the New Jersey Lottery regarding a lottery scam illegally utilizing the Mega Millions name.
Players should know that the Louisiana Lottery will never contact individuals to solicit money for any purpose. Unfortunately, illegal lottery scams have become prevalent worldwide. Thus, players are encouraged to protect themselves by following these tips:
Never pay processing fees, taxes, insurance or commissions to claim a lottery prize. Legitimate lotteries do not ever require up-front payment of any kind from winners to claim a prize. Any withholdings, such as taxes, owed by the winner are deducted from the prize funds.
If you haven't purchased a ticket for the particular game or entered the particular drawing in which the prize was won, don't respond to the prize notification. Every legitimate lottery business model requires the payment of prizes from funds collected through the sale of tickets. Even the IRS only issues refunds based on taxes already paid. Ask yourself, where did the funds come from in order to pay this prize? Did I physically enter this drawing? Remember, there is no such thing as free money.
Never believe a letter, phone call or internet message from someone who offers you a guarantee of winning a prize. Legitimate lotteries do not guarantee that you will win a prize. Also, never give your credit card numbers, bank account numbers or social security numbers over the phone or over the internet to a business promising lottery jackpots. Remember, participating in a foreign lottery by phone, mail or Internet is against federal law.
For more information on how to protect yourself from illegal lottery scams, visit: