Emails or calls announcing that you have won a foreign lottery or sweepstakes are false. You may even get a message claiming that you have already won, so long as you pay to get your prize or collect your winnings.
Not only is this a scam, but participating in a foreign lottery violates Kansas and federal law. The scammers will keep any money you send for “taxes” or fees. In addition, lottery hustlers use victims’ bank account numbers to make unauthorized withdrawals or their credit card numbers to run up additional charges.
Remember these tips:
- You do not have to pay for something you have won (e.g., taxes, handling charges or custom clearance fees); tell the caller to take the money from your winnings and send you the rest!
- Do not give your credit card or bank account number to a caller you do not know; they generally ask for the routing number off your check; if given these numbers, this person will have access to your checking account.
- Beware of callers requesting money to be sent via wire service or overnight courier (this is a quick, easy and anonymous way for scam artists to get the money and run, as well as avoid mail fraud).
- The only legal lottery a consumer may participate in, within the State of Kansas, is the state‑run Kansas Lottery.
- Call the Kansas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-432-2310 if you have questions or concerns about a call or offer.
- Forward email solicitations for foreign lottery promotions to the Federal Trade Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org.