Lottery Scam Reported by Police

November 7, 2017

Recently, a citizen was mailed a letter indicating they had won 4.5 million dollars from a European PowerBall.

The letter states there was a mix-up with the drawing of the PowerBall number, and tickets, as a result, the citizen has now won third place. The letter requested phone contact or email, to begin the process to claim the prize. If contact is made, the “lottery employee” will request items such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers to pay the fee to transfer money, and personal information to verify you are the winner. While the letter may appear to be authentic the Federal Trade Commission and Mega Millions Lottery Game warn it is a fake.

Mega Millions offers these tips to avoid being a victim of this scam:

• If someone says you have won the lottery, but you have never played, be suspicious. You cannot win a legitimate lottery if you have never purchased a ticket.

• If advised to keep your “win” confidential, be suspicious.

• No real lottery tells winners to put up their own money in order to collect a prize. If you have to pay a fee to collect your winnings, you haven’t won.

• If they offer to wire the “winnings” directly to your bank account, do not give them your bank account information.

If you have any questions or if you have been a victim of a scam, contact the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at (301) 475-8008.