Watch out for lottery scams, attorney general warns

Attorney General Bob Ferguson and officials from Washington's Lottery are bringing attention to lottery scams.

Individuals and groups are calling and emailing victims on a more regular basis with the goal of tricking people into thinking they’ve won a lottery prize, according to Ferguson's office.

The goal of lottery scammers is to convince victims to provide personal information or pay fake “processing fees” and “taxes” through a wire transfer or money order.  In most cases if the scam is successful the money can’t be recovered as many lottery scams are conducted by parties living outside the United States.  It is very difficult to track these criminals and even more difficult to successfully prosecute them.

The most common type of lottery scam is conducted over email although websites and social media lottery scams such as messages through Facebook are becoming more prevalent.  Telephone scams are also very common and criminals are calling victims from out of the country or using a disposable phone to announce a winning prize.

“Consumer protection is a top priority for the Attorney General’s Office,” said Ferguson. “Lottery scammers want to steal your personal information and money — don’t be duped.  Washington’s Lottery will not collect personal information as part of the sales process.”

or more information on lottery scams visit the Washington Lottery website or the website of the Attorney General.


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