LANSING, MI — The Michigan Lottery is warning the public about a scam in which people are told they've won a big prize but need to pay a fee or provide sensitive personal information to collect it.
The scam works like this: A person gets a letter, email, or phone call to inform them that they've won a big lottery prize but must pay a fee or provide sensitive personal information to collect the prize.
If the person agrees to pay a fee, the scam artist convinces them to mail a cashier's check, make an electronic funds transfer, or even arranges a meeting to get the money in cash.
If the person agrees to provide sensitive personal information, the scam artist may be able to commit identity fraud.
In some cases, after getting money from the victim, the scam artist comes back asking for more for unexpected processing costs or fees or uses some other excuse to try to get more money from the victim. the more money the victim supplies, the longer the scam will continue.
The public to use common sense when dealing with anything suspicious keeping in mind that if you haven't bought a ticket, you can't win a prize.
Attempts to defraud individuals increase during periods of uncertainty such as the outbreak of COVID-19 in Michigan, lottery officials said.
To check if a lottery prize, offer, or promotion is legitimate, members of the public may contact their official state lottery using the contact information on the official lottery website. A list of official government lottery websites can be found at https://www.lotterypost.com/links.
Players who believe they have been the victim of such a scam should contact their local law enforcement agency.