The Michigan Lottery has issued a warning to its players against scammers purporting to be lottery officials asking for fees to be paid to release prize money.
As reported by Press & Guide, scammers are allegedly telling people they’ve won a big lottery prize but need to pay a fee to collect it.
The lottery stated it will always process winners’ prize money for free and that, to be eligible to win, people must have a valid winning ticket after it was reported that some without lottery tickets were contacted by the scammers.
Furthermore, the lottery told Press & Guide that anybody can check if a lottery prize, offer, or promotion is legitimate by contacting the Lottery’s Player Relations Division.
Scammers are reportedly contacting victims via mobile or email, telling them that they have won a lottery prize, but that a fee would be required to release the funds.
The victims either send the fee via mail, bank transfer or in-person collection before the scammer then asks for more money as an additional ‘processing fee’.
Lottery scams have made headlines in recent weeks, with the President of the Mississippi Lottery, Jeffrey Hewitt, warning players not to fall for scam phone calls in relation to lottery winnings.
“We don’t call anybody,” he noted. “We have no idea who could have bought a winning ticket. Our system is very sophisticated.
“We do know where that was sold because it does leave a footprint, but we have no idea who the player was. There’s no way we could contact people to ask them to come in, or give us your checking account number, which is probably the worst one. Don’t do that over the phone, we would never have you do that.”