The Minnesota State Lottery is warning people of a scam in which someone is sending letters from a group called the Minnesota State Lotto & Sunset Minnesota Lotto.
The letters say the recipient has won a drawing but must send money to claim the prize.
The letters, which include a phony check for $4,100, say the recipient has won $80,000 in a second-chance lottery drawing. The letter instructs the recipient to send $4,000 to claim the rest of their prize.
The Minnesota Attorney General's Office and Federal Trade Commission Web sites warn of similar scams with phony checks. In those scams, the victim deposits the check and sends the requested money, but the phony check bounces.
Officials warn that sometimes banks may temporarily credit the person's account for the amount.
The Minnesota State Lottery says it is in no way associated with the scams.
Anyone who has received such a letter should call the Postal Inspection Service at (651) 293-3200.