Florida Officials Warn of Lottery Scam

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Updated by: Charlene Cristobal
July 1, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- It's happened to one of us, or someone we know -- getting an e-mail from a scammer. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans lost around $1.4 billion dollars to scams in 2012.

Local resident George Scott says his mother has been the victim of a scam, "This guy is always calling on my mother, telling her that she had won a lot of money," he says. "It had something to do with Reader's Digest. They'd bill her up and wanted her bank accounts and all this stuff, and it was nothing but a scam."

Recently, the Florida Lottery caught wind of scammers sending out emails, with their logo, to consumers. Asking them to "claim their prize money" by sending their personal banking information.

Director of Security for the Florida Lottery, David Myers says, "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Look at the information they're asking for. No one's going to ask for your personal information. If they already have enough information to send this to you, they should have that information already. So, anytime they're asking for additional information that is private to you, that should be a red flag."

Officials also say to look at the contact information. In the e-mails sent from the Florida Lottery scammers, the phone number they listed was an overseas number and the email address wasn't official.

"When it's on a personal level like that, I mean, there's going to be a lot of angry people," says local resident Rebekah Hernandez. "Really, it's always good to do your homework because in the end it's only you, watching out for you."

Florida Lottery officials tells us, they don't send out e-mails asking for personal information. If you have received one -- it's a scam.

News Release: Associated Press
July 1, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida Lottery officials say their logo and letterhead are being used in scam emails seeking personal data to claim fake prizes.

Lottery officials said Monday that the scam emails say the recipient has won a prize and should contact the listed person to claim a share of the jackpot. Once the email recipient responds, the scammers then send a follow-up email requesting financial information and money for a tax to claim the prize.

Lottery officials say they do not contact players to let them know they've won a prize unless they entered a promotional game or a second-chance drawing on the official Florida Lottery website or social media pages.

To report a lottery scam, consumers should contact the Florida Lottery's Division of Security at 850-487-7730.

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