A lottery scam from Jamaica has been reported to Pennsylvania Lottery officials in recent weeks. Callers, who have reported the scam, say that their contact is with a person who has a Caribbean accent. The criminal who makes the call tells the person on the other end that they are a winner of a fictitious Mega Millions sweepstakes or that they have won a prize from another Lottery game with a well-known name. The criminal encouraged the victim to make a payment for taxes or other costs to facilitate the processing of their prize, but the prize is never paid.
“Unfortunately, these types of scams are quite common — especially during times of crisis, such as a pandemic, when people may be vulnerable,” said Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko. “We never call or email people at random. The Pennsylvania Lottery will only contact players if they won a Second-Chance Drawing, a giveaway into which a player may have submitted an entry, or to collect their winning story.”
Other warning signs of a scam include: being told to buy a pre-paid debit card to pay an up-front “processing fee” or taxes; being asked for personal financial information, such as bank account routing numbers; being told the supposed prize is in pounds, euros, or anything other than dollars; and being told they can "verify" the prize by calling a certain number.
If callers receive a number, they're advised to look up the lottery or organization to find its real contact information, then call the number listed and ask to speak to security.