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Advisory: How to Recognize the Latest Lottery Scams

RELEASE DATE: 5/2/2023

They are as old as lotteries themselves – scams that fraudulently use a lottery’s good name in efforts to steal your money. Many of them are fraudulently using the Mega Millions® name and logo, promising big prizes to people who receive official-looking email or text messages, or who receive random phone calls from smooth-talking (and very convincing) operators. As with all lottery scams, these scammers are trying to lure consumers into thinking they have won a big “prize.” They are in no way connected to the real Mega Millions game despite their using our name and/or logo, and sometimes the name and logo of other legitimate organizations in efforts to sound even more official.

We have received several samples of recent scam attempts, as shown below. These examples cite things that simply do not exist, as there is no “Mega Millions sweepstake international lottery program,” no “Mega Million Jackport [sic] Winners List,” and no “Mega Millions International Lottery.” Other recent scams promise not only cash winnings, but cars and merchandise, all fraudulently using the Mega Millions name.

These scams have several things in common, besides the ultimate goal of stealing your money. They promise big prizes, but only after an unsuspecting  “winner” pays a large sum of money to claim a big “prize” that does not actually exist. Scammers will keep asking for more money, for things such as “taxes,” “insurance fees,” and “delivery fees.” They will tell you to keep your “winner status” confidential. They will often have improper English or misspellings because they are based outside the U.S. They will provide a “claim number” or “file number” to make it all sound official.

Scammers are very persistent and can sound quite convincing, but it’s important to know the simple truths: The Mega Millions game is sold only in the United States, and the ONLY way to win Mega Millions is to first purchase a ticket from one of our participating American lotteries and then match some or all of the winning numbers for that specific Mega Millions drawing. There are no random Mega Millions prizes awarded anywhere in the world simply on the basis of phone numbers, email addresses or social media accounts. And, most importantly, there is NEVER a fee to claim a real lottery prize. If you are asked to pay money, it is a scam.

Once again, we warn consumers that these scams are not connected in any way to the real Mega Millions game despite their use of our name and/or logo. Lottery officials ask people to ignore these scammers, who only want to steal your money. If you have any questions about the legitimacy of any website, email, text message or phone call, that uses the Mega Millions name and/or logo, please contact us or the lottery in your jurisdiction.

Read more about lottery scams.