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 Lottery® 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.
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.