The Virginia Lottery said it has noticed an uptick in reports of lottery scams and is launching a new campaign to protect consumers.
The Protect Your Play campaign seeks to inform consumers not only about fake lottery scams, but also ways to protect themselves from various types of fraud.
The lottery agency said that in most cases, criminals try to convince intended victims they have won a large prize. They might falsely identify themselves as being with the Virginia Lottery or a familiar gaming organization, such as Mega Millions or Powerball. Then, they’ll ask for money to claim your prize — something lottery officials say they would never do.
Here are some other tips from the Virginia Lottery:
- Do sign your ticket upon purchase. The person who signs the ticket owns it.
- Don’t post photos of a winning ticket on social media before redeeming it. The photo could show information that someone else could use to claim your prize.
- Do make use of self-service scanning devices available at every retail and vending location and on the lottery’s mobile app. Don’t rely on someone else to tell you if your ticket is a winner.
- Don’t place your ticket in anyone else’s hands without knowing what it’s worth.
- Do check the ticket you bought before you leave the store to confirm it’s the game you want, the numbers you want and the drawing(s) you want.
- Don’t send anyone money or give personal information to someone who contacts you claiming you’ve won the lottery. These types of requests are associated with fake lottery scams.
- Do know the rules for claiming a winning ticket before the prize expires.
If you suspect you may have been scammed, reach out to the Virginia Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection’s hotline at 800-552-9963.