MIDDLETOWN, Pa., Aug. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Lottery today cautioned consumers to be wary of phone calls, emails or social media messages from scam artists posing as "lottery claim agents."
"If someone tells you, out of the blue, that you've won a major prize and must act immediately to claim it, you should be very suspicious," said Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko. "The Pennsylvania Lottery will only contact you if you have won a second-chance drawing or giveaway into which you submitted an entry."
Warning signs of a scam include someone asking you to provide or "confirm" personal information or bank account numbers, demanding prepayment of a "processing" or "claiming" fee, or requiring the purchase of a pre-paid debit card.
Scam operators will falsely claim to represent a lottery or multi-state lottery group, sometimes posing as real employees whose names can be found through the Internet. Scammers will sometimes offer a "badge number" or other made-up information to try to sound legitimate.
Many scam operators are located offshore, making it difficult for U.S. law enforcement to take action against them. To mask their true location, scammers will often establish fake websites and telephone switchboards, or create a "spoofed" phone number which makes it appear on caller ID that the call is coming from a real entity or known area code.
"Technology can make it easy for anyone to pose as anyone else on the Internet or over the phone," Svitko added. "It's always wise to approach any kind of unexpected news of this sort with a healthy amount of skepticism – and when in doubt, check it out."
About the Pennsylvania Lottery: The Pennsylvania Lottery remains the only state lottery that designates all its proceeds to programs that benefit older residents. Since its inception in 1971, the Pennsylvania Lottery has contributed more than $25.8 billion to programs that include property tax and rent rebates; free transit and reduced-fare shared rides; the low-cost prescription drug programs PACE and PACENET; long-term living services; and the 52 Area Agencies on Aging, including full- and part-time senior centers throughout the state.
The Pennsylvania Lottery reminds players to check every ticket, every time. Players must be 18 or older. Please play responsibly. For help with a gambling problem, call 1-800-848-1880.
MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Miller, 717-702-8008
SOURCE Pennsylvania Lottery