Beware of Scams


1. Someone you don’t know requests your personal information.
2. You win a “contest” that you never entered.
3. You are pressured to “act now!"
4. You must pay a fee to receive a “prize."
5. Someone requests a large down payment.
6. The company refuses to provide written information.
7. The company has no physical address, only a P.O. Box.
8. The company insists you pay in cash.

In recent years, regular mail and Internet e-mail have become a means for con artists to defraud innocent people out of their money. Scams involving fictitious lotteries are no exception. Fraud Watch International lists approximately 380 known lottery scam operatives around the world.

Here’s an example on how it can happen:

You receive a letter or e-mail advising that you have won a substantial lottery prize...usually from a foreign country and usually containing language directing you to keep your win confidential or run the risk of compromising it. You may be instructed to contact a claims agent to collect the winnings. If you respond, you will receive a claim form which requires you to return the form with personal details including copies of a driver's license, passport, etc. If you do this, you will then receive information on how to collect your winnings.

Most people want their winnings transferred into their bank account. The con will now require up-front fees for taxes, insurance or even legal fees. If you don’t want to pay up-front fees, you will be advised to open an online account with a specified bank, who's "policy" requires a deposit of around US $3,000. The bank is a fake. Or, you may even receive a check for a partial payment to defray the expenses. The check will bounce. The bottom line is that if you play along with the con you will be duped out of your own money and never receive the prize money promised. In addition, your chances of ever recovering any of your money are slim to none.


Never agree to help a stranger cash a lottery ticket. If you are approached by someone offering a winning ticket for cash, refuse and contact the Kentucky Lottery Division of Security immediately.

Unless you specifically entered a "promotional or second chance game" sponsored by the Kentucky Lottery Corporation, you will never be contacted by us informing you that you have won a prize.

Never accept a collect call from anyone claiming to be a lottery official.

Keep your credit card and bank account numbers to yourself. Scam artists will often ask for them during an unsolicited sales pitch. The Kentucky Lottery will never ask for this type of information.

Only buy tickets from authorized Kentucky Lottery retailers.

Never purchase tickets from foreign lotteries by phone or by mail. The sale and trafficking in foreign lottery tickets is a violation of federal law.

If you become, or suspect that your have become, a victim of a lottery related crime, contact the Kentucky Lottery at (502) 560-1804 or

If you think you've been a victim of an Internet fraud scheme, you can file a complaint, online, with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, of which the FBI is a part, at Information of a variety of scams can be found at the National Consumers League’s website.