Beware of Scams
Every day, criminals find new ways to scam victims out of their money. Illegal lotteries operate from locations all over the world and notify "winners" with enticing language via the mail, phone, or Internet. Sometimes the enticements are about phony lotteries in the United States, but they can also be from as far away as Australia and Europe. These lottery solicitations violate U.S. law, which prohibits the cross-border sale or purchase of lottery tickets by phone or mail.
The only lottery that is legally authorized to operate in Arizona is the Arizona Lottery. If you receive suspicious materials, telephone calls, or emails, or if you are ever in doubt about information that supposedly came from a legitimate lottery, call the Arizona Lottery Investigations Unit immediately at 480-921-4486 (Mon-Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
The Arizona Lottery offers these helpful tips to avoid lottery scams:
♦ Never accept a collect telephone call from someone claiming to be a Lottery official. Legitimate Lotteries do not call collect.
♦ Never respond to a letter, phone call, or Internet message from someone who claims they can guarantee you a prize. The Arizona Lottery does not guarantee you a prize, only a chance of winning one if you buy a legal ticket from an authorized Arizona Lottery retailer.
♦ Buy Lottery tickets only from authorized Arizona Lottery retailers. Arizona Lottery tickets can only be purchased from licensed Arizona Lottery retailers. The Arizona Lottery does not sell tickets through the mail, over the Internet, or by subscription.
♦ Never purchase tickets from foreign Lotteries by phone, mail, or the Internet. The sale and trafficking in foreign Lottery tickets is a violation of federal criminal law.
♦ Unless you specifically entered an Arizona Lottery promotion, you will never be contacted by us informing you that you have won a prize. If you did not purchase a Lottery ticket or enter a secondary drawing, you cannot win a prize.
♦ If you are going to participate in a "Lottery pool," do so only with people you know and trust.
♦ Never agree to help a stranger cash a Lottery ticket. If you do, more than likely you will become the victim of a "Pigeon Drop" scam. If you are approached by a stranger asking for help to cash a ticket, contact the Arizona Lottery Investigations Unit and your local law enforcement immediately.
♦ Never redeem a Lottery ticket for someone you do not know. Some scams are operated by groups of individuals who travel around the country, approaching victims with a wide range of stories. Below are some examples of scams and the truth behind them:
SCAM: "This is a winning ticket, but I need money to claim it. If you help me with the money up front, I'll share the jackpot with you."
TRUTH: Once a ticket is bought, no money is EVER required to claim a prize.
SCAM: "I can't cash in my winning lottery ticket because I'm not a U.S. citizen."
TRUTH: You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to claim a lottery prize.
SCAM: "Let's call the Lottery. They'll tell us this is a winning ticket."
TRUTH: The Arizona Lottery does not confirm that a ticket is a winner over the phone. The person on the phone is part of the scam.
SCAM: "We need to hurry! I need to get back to my family - it's an emergency!"
TRUTH: The thieves are trying to rush you so you don't have time to think or call a family member or friend for advice or help.
The old saying still holds true, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Don't be a victim, and don't let anyone you know be a victim. When you hear one of these stories - get away, call the police, and give them a description. Help stop these criminals before they strike again.
The Arizona Lottery provides fun, excitement, and prizes for players. DO NOT let con artists and criminals take your money and spoil your fun. If you feel you have been a victim of a lottery scam, report it to the appropriate authorities. For more information on reporting fraud and scams, click here.
The following are resources where you can learn more about frauds and scams:
Federal Trade Commission
U.S. Postal Service
Consumer Fraud Reporting
Don't Be a Victim. Be ALERT:
Refuse to be pressured
Tell the authorities
Don't be a victim of scams! If you ever have a concern about the Arizona Lottery, its products or operations, please call the Lottery at 480-921-4400 or email us at email@example.com. If you have a security-related concern, please report it to the Arizona Lottery Investigations Unit at 480-921-4486 (Mon-Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).