Pennsylvania Lottery issues warning about foreign lottery phone scam

Lottery officials warning about international scam

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Lottery is warning about a foreign lottery phone scam.

The call is coming from Jamaica, according to reports received by lottery officials.

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The person has a Caribbean accent and, according to lottery officials, the caller tells the person they are the winner of a fictitious Mega Millions Sweepstakes or other well-known lottery game.

The scammer then encourages the victim to make a payment for taxes and other costs to get the prize.

The prize, however, is bogus.

Lottery officials said warning signs of a scam include:

  • Being told to buy a pre-paid debit card to pay an up-front “processing fee” or taxes.
  • Being asked for personal financial information, such as bank account routing numbers.
  • Being told the supposed prize is in pounds, euros, or anything other than dollars.
  • Receiving an e-mail containing poor grammar or misspellings
  • Receiving a call from a caller outside the U.S., or if the caller sounds like they could be calling from outside the U.S.
  • Being instructed to keep the news of your supposed “win” a secret.
  • Being told that you can “verify” the prize by calling a certain number.

Better Business Bureau officials say it’s extremely disheartening because many folks are cash strapped during the pandemic. And it is very difficult to get your money back.

The only time the lottery will ever contact someone is if they won a second-chance drawing, and that person previously entered the drawing on their own, officials said.

If you have been the victim of a scam, contact police and the BBB.