Lottery & Sweepstakes Scams

Congratulations! You just got a call or letter informing you that you can win millions in a foreign lottery. Is this your lucky day? Nope, it's a scam.

Don't fall for the big prize scam! Especially if a caller says you've won a big lottery prize but must send money in order to collect. It's a fraud and you will lose your money!

  • Lottery schemes generally begin with a mail request asking you to participate in a foreign lottery or congratulating you on winning!
  • They generally require exorbitant fees in order to play.
  • The government does not monitor these scams. In fact, a federal statute prohibits purchasing tickets, shares or chances in a foreign country by mail.
  • It's illegal to use the mail or telephone to play lotteries across borders.
  • No matter how official these solicitations look or sound, they're not real.
  • Joining a lottery club won't improve your chances of winning foreign lotteries.
  • Giving your credit card or account numbers to strangers is dangerous. Crooks can use that information to make unauthorized charges or debits to your account.
  • Lottery scammers often insist that money be wired to them. They get your cash more quickly and their actions become harder to trace.
  • The chances of recovering money from foreign crooks may actually be worse than those for winning a real lottery.
  • The only guarantee is that you'll end up on more "sucker lists". When you respond to lottery solicitations you identify yourself as a potential victim for other fraudulent money–making opportunities.

Contact the FTC: or 1–877–FTC–HELP. Legitimate lottery and sweepstakes administrators never charge fees to deliver your prize. If you send money, you will never get it back.

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