lottery scams 2021

Examples of Fraud

Tis the season. for scammers! Ah yes, those awful people who we play whack-a-mole with all year long are out in force during the holiday season. They might send you a “legit-looking” letter, and they might even send you a (horribly) Photoshopped image of one of our big winner’s checks.

As much as you want it to be true – it’s all fake. When in doubt, call us at 1-800-999-2959 and ask. Don’t be fooled by this common phishing scam, and definitely DO NOT give them any personal or banking information.

Instagram Spam

Scammers are reaching out to Lottery Instagram subscribers and posing as the Lottery! Be sure to manage your privacy settings so that your information will not be accessible to these individuals. When on the Lottery’s Instagram page, a scammer only needs to click on subscribers to see everyone that has not set their privacy settings to private. It’s good practice to do this across all social media platforms that you use. Be aware! We will never contact you about winning a prize via Instagram.

If you receive a notification like the one that follows, it is a scam. The Colorado Lottery does not notify winners in this way.

Overseas Scam

Players are getting a call from an overseas telephone number (prefix 876) and being asked why they haven’t claimed their winnings. This is a SCAM.

The only time the Lottery Drawing Manager will contact a winner is for Bonus Draws and will always identify herself and ask you to come claim at one of the four Lottery Claims Offices. A representative from the Lottery will never contact you unsolicited.

The Lottery will never ask you to give us up-front money to process your claim.

E-Mail Lottery – Canada & Powerball Scam

There is an email scam that is claiming that the recipient is the winner of E-MAIL LOTTERY, held in Canada, in “conjunction” with Powerball Lottery. In order to claim the prize, the recipient is asked to contact a representative in South Africa and provide personal information. DO NOT REPLY TO THIS SCAM.

This is a documented scam and has been reported to the Federal Trade Commission and MUSL for Powerball.

To view a copy of the letter and other examples of letters and notices that are scams, see below. Check back often to be in the know.

2019 Mega Lottery Picker Scam

People are receiving letters that are addressed to them informing them that they have won millions in the 2019 Mega Lottery Picker. In order to claim the prize, the recipient is asked to travel to Madrid, Spain to claim the check, or to pay a “fee” for diplomatic delivery of the check. This letter is mailed from Lisbon, Portugal. The email address in the letter, [email protected], is an indicator of its non-official capacity. DO NOT REPLY TO THIS SCAM.

This is a documented scam and has been reported to the Federal Trade Commission and the Mega Millions Lottery.

Facebook Scam

Scammers may contact you via private message on Facebook — don’t be fooled! Some scammers even appear to have a local phone number, which is called “spoofing”.

Previous Colorado Winner Scam

A new scam may feature someone claiming to be a previous Colorado Lottery winner.
Do not engage with anyone over email or phone that you do not know, and do not give out any of your personal information.

Social Media Scam

A common phishing scam involves social media. A legitimate Lottery will never reach out to customers in this way. If you did not buy a ticket, you did not win money.

Please do not engage with scammers, and above all, do not give them any personal identifying information. Feel free to report such activity to

Mega Millions Scam

The latest scam involves Mega Millions. Do not be fooled.

About / Protect Yourself / Examples of Fraud

$970 Million

Est. Cash Value: $716.3 Million

Player Area

Steer Clear of Scams with these Tips from the Texas Lottery Commission

With lottery scams of all types making headlines, the Texas Lottery Commission wants you to have the facts about these sure losers. While the information below may not cover every trick these con artists use, these are some common traps to avoid.

Spotting a Scam

Scammers use a wide variety of tactics to dupe their victims, but you can usually spot these cons by noticing a few telltale signs.

  • The winnings are for an international lottery or a contest that you did not enter. Rest assured that your chances of winning prize or a drawing without a ticket purchase or entering a drawing are non-existent.
  • You are asked to pay up-front in order to claim your winnings. The requested form of payment may be a gift card, pre-loaded payment card, your credit card or bank account. Winners of a Texas LotteryВ® game are not required to pay in order to claim winnings. All taxes or other obligations owed are subtracted from the prize amount.
  • The person insists that they are unable to claim the prize due to citizenship concerns. You do not need to be a United States citizen to claim a Texas Lottery prize.
  • You receive communications from someone claiming to be affiliated with the Texas Lottery Commission telling you that you won. Generally, the Texas Lottery Commission does not contact winners because the agency has no way of knowing winners’ identities until they come forward with their tickets. If you win a second-chance drawing, the agency will send the prize to you by mail. The agency will never, however, ask you to provide money or financial information in order to receive a prize.
  • An email offers to help you set up a lottery franchise. These offers do not originate with the Texas Lottery Commission and may involve illegal activity. If you are interested in becoming a retailer, please click here.

Protecting Yourself

If all this talk of scams has got you down, cheer up! There are several steps you can take to keep cheaters from ruining your fun.

  • Only buy lottery tickets from authorized retailers.
  • Don’t buy Texas Lottery tickets from anyone located outside the State of Texas.
  • Never give out personal or financial information in response to a request you receive by mail, phone, social media, text or email.
  • Never pay money to anyone to claim a prize or defray the “costs” involved in claiming a prize.
  • Be wary of lottery pools. Only pool your money with those you trust and be sure that you understand exactly what your share in any winnings would be. It is recommended that you ask for all terms and conditions in writing before joining a lottery pool.
  • Always sign your ticket so that no one else can claim your prize.
  • Do not purchase a “winning” ticket from a stranger. The ticket may be stolen, altered, fake or already claimed.
  • Report the potential fraud or scam to the appropriate authorities. If you are told that someone is coming to your home to collect payment contact your local law enforcement agency.
  • When in doubt, call 1-800-37LOTTO (1-800-375-6886). Lottery staff will be happy to answer your questions.

To learn more about the common Latin Lotto Scam, click here for The Truth Report including downloadable flyers in English and Spanish.

For more information on lottery scams and how to avoid them, click here to visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information web page.

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