Sweepstakes & Lottery Scams...
Sweepstakes and lottery scams have been reported throughout Ohio in recent weeks.
The scams often begin with a call or letter claiming a person has won millions of dollars in a lottery or sweepstakes. The person is asked to wire a few hundred dollars or more to cover processing fees or taxes in order to receive the winnings. In reality, there is no prize and any money the person sends will go to a scam artist.
“If you get a call saying you’ve won millions but you have to pay to receive it, it’s just not true,” Attorney General DeWine said. “You shouldn’t have to pay to receive a prize you’ve already won. Even if the person claims to be affiliated with a real lottery, don’t believe the claims, and don’t send your own money.”
The Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section has logged over 80 complaints involving sweepstakes or prizes in 2018. The average reported loss is more than $13,000.
While the scams often begin with a call or letter, they also may start on social media. A con artist may pose as a person’s friend and send a message saying the person has won money. The claim may seem more believable because it appears to come from a friend, but it is actually part of a scam.
Tips to avoid sweepstakes and lottery scams include:
Consumers who suspect a scam or an unfair business practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.