LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Lottery wants people to be aware of scammers who are claiming to be lottery agents or prize winners.
The Michigan Lottery processes all prize claims for free, and players must have a valid winning ticket to claim a prize. If you haven’t bought a Lottery ticket or played a Lottery game, there’s no way you could win a prize.
Michigan Lottery said lottery prize scams have been known to pop up around the holidays, but show up from time-to-time any time throughout the year.
There are two types of lottery prize scams Michigan Lottery wants people to know about:
- A person gets a letter, email, text, or phone call to inform them that they’ve won a big lottery prize but must pay a fee to collect the prize. If the person agrees, the scam artist convinces them to mail a cashier’s check, make an electronic funds transfer, or even arrange a meeting to get the money in cash.
- A person is contacted by mail, email, text, or phone call by someone claiming to be a lottery prize winner. The scam artist tells the person they will share their prize if the person sends money to them. If the person agrees, the scam artist convinces them to mail a cashier’s check, make an electronic funds transfer, or even arrange a meeting to get the money in cash.
Sometimes scammers have been known to come back and ask for more money from the same victim for what they call unexpected processing costs or fees or another excuse to get more money. The more money the victim gives the scammer, the longer the scam will continue.
If you want to check if a lottery prize, offer, or promotion is legitimate, you can contact the Lottery’s Player Relations Division at 844-887-6836, option 2, or via email at email@example.com.
If you suspect you have fallen for a scam you should contact the police.
Read: More scam coverage