The New York State Gaming Commission wants our readers to know that con artists are employing a scam involving the NYS Lottery.
The scamsters contact people by phone, email or letter, claiming they represent the New York Lottery, and tell the person that he or she has just won a prize.
There are two separate schemes.
An individual receives a letter or email fraudulently using the New York Lottery name and logo, stating that the recipient has won an unclaimed prize. In order to “claim the prize,” the scam artist requests that the recipient call a designated “representative,” who asks for personal information and a “processing fee.” The scam artist keeps the fee, and there is no prize.
An individual receives a check from a supposed Lottery organization. An accompanying letter states the check represents a portion of Lottery winnings and instructs the recipient to deposit the check. The recipient is then asked to return a portion of the check’s balance back to the sender as a “fee” before they can receive the remaining balance of their winnings. After paying the “fee,” the victim soon learns from their bank that the original check bounced, and the victim receives no prize plus loses the “fee” already paid and is hit with bank charges.
The New York State Gaming Commission asked us to remind consumers of the following:
• We do not notify YOU, you notify US.
• The New York Lottery never requires the payment of any money in order to claim a prize.
• Do not deposit any check sent to you that is accompanied by a request that you send or wire money to cover processing or claiming fees.
• Report lottery scams by contacting the New York Lottery’s Security Unit at 518-388-3416 or the New York State Attorney General's Office Consumer Helpline at 1-800-771-7755