Mega Millions Scams
Mega Millions scams usually come in the form of advance-fee fraud schemes, which involve a fraudster falsely contacting individuals claiming that they are due a large sum of money.
On this page, you will find the various types of scams that lottery players should be aware of and tips on how to avoid them. It is important to note that it is not possible to win a prize for a lottery that you have not entered and Mega Millions representatives will never contact you regarding a win or fees before you receive your winnings.
How to Identify a Mega Millions Scam
Mega Millions scams take various forms, but here are some key features to look out for:
- Poor quality and incorrect grammar in a letter or email. The letter or email may be addressed to ’email holder’ or ‘winner’ or ‘reader’, rather than using the victim’s name.
- Some mail and email scams can look authentic, as scammers illegitimately use Mega Millions branding to persuade victims.
- The victim may receive a fake check, which can be attached to an email or letter and the fraudster might claim that it is for ‘government taxes’ or ‘expenses’.
- The correspondence sent to the victim will emphasise that they should act to claim their prize as soon as possible and urges them to keep it ‘confidential’. This is to make sure that the person who received the correspondence does not seek advice from others, which may expose the scam.
- The victim is asked to pay a ‘processing fee’ or ‘tax’ to be able to receive their winnings.
Types of Mega Millions Scams
Mega Millions scams can take five different forms:
An email is sent to the victim, letting them know that they have won a large sum of prize money and it asks them to pay ‘fees’ or ‘taxes’ if they want to receive the full prize winnings. A link to a website where prizes can be ‘claimed’ may also be included in the email, which could be used for ‘phishing’ personal information or installing spyware on the victim’s computer, giving the criminal access to private information.
Similar to email scams, a mail scam will try to convince the victim that they have won a huge sum of money and that they need to mail back a portion to be able to receive the full sum.
The fraudster calls the victim to notify them that they have won a large Mega Millions prize in the hope that they will agree to paying any ‘fees’ or ‘taxes’ to release the money. Scammers often use specific area codes that look like domestic U.S. phone numbers to trick victims, including; 876 (Jamaica), 473 (Grenada) and 268 (Antigua).
Scammers may also attempt to find out the victimвЂ™s bank details in order to access their accounts illicitly.
Scammers send a text message to the victim from an unknown number telling them that they have won a Mega Millions prize. To claim the prize, victims are requested to call the number back, often on a premium rate number.
The victim receives a message on their personal Facebook, Twitter or another social media platform notifying them that they have been selected to win a Mega Millions prize. They are then told to act immediately and follow a specific, often malicious, link to claim the prize.
How to Report a Lottery Scam
If you believe you have been contacted by a Mega Millions scammer, it is very important that you do not provide personal or financial information. If you already have, contact your bank as soon as possible to minimize the risk of identity fraud.
To report a lottery scam, you can contact your state’s Attorney General using the list provided by the National Association of Attorneys General: http://www.naag.org/naag/attorneys-general/whos-my-ag.php
Complaints can also be sent to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), a consumer protection agency: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov
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Players must be 18 or over to participate in online lotteries.Have you been the victim of a Mega Millions scam? Find out about the different types of scams and what action to take to avoid them.
New Mega Millions Scams: How to Avoid Becoming A Victim
Saturday March 21 st 2020
New Mega Millions scams are trying to trick people into thinking they’ve won a prize. The fake emails and text messages use the game’s name and logo to look official, but they are not connected to the real lottery.
One of the recent scams is called the Mega Millions “International Official Lottery” and links to the “Official Anniversary Lottery Site” which uses a 25th Anniversary logo. The site promises a cash prize of $24,780, but asks users to pay a fee before they can receive the “prize.”
Other scams may use names like “United States National Lottery” or “Mega Millions Corporation.”
Players should know that there is never a fee to collect a real Mega Millions prize. People who are targeted by these cons should not respond to the emails or texts or click the links in them.
You may also see social media scams, including accounts claiming to be previous Mega Millions jackpot winners who want to give away their money. This is called an “imposter scam” and these accounts are fake. If you see one, report it to the social media platform.
How lottery scams work
All lottery scams will try to fool you into sending money or giving personal details by making you think you’ve won a prize.
Once they get you to believe you’re in line for a large payout, they will typically try to get you to send them money for so-called taxes or fees.
Next, they will usually try to get you to give them your bank account and credit card details so they can steal more from you.
Another ploy is to send a fake “winner’s check” and ask you to send money for expenses.
Scammers often prey on seniors and some victims have sadly lost their savings. Americans lose $120 million every year just on lottery scam mailings, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
The bottom line: Don’t disclose any personal information. Fraudsters will try to clean out victims’ bank accounts and run up charges on their credit cards.
How to outsmart scammers
Here are some ways to help prevent con artists from taking advantage of you.
- If you receive a phone call you believe is a scam attempt, hang up right away. Don’t have a conversation or you may end up on a “sucker list” that’s sold to other fraudsters.
- You can’t win a lottery prize if you haven’t played.
- Using a real lottery’s name or logo does not mean there is any connection to the actual lottery.
- A legitimate lottery will not ask winners for a payment in order to collect a prize.
- If you get a call saying you’ve won, check the area code using caller ID. It may look like it’s in your state, but scammers can disguise where they are really calling from. If the call is from outside the country, you should also be suspicious.
- If the message uses poor English (misspellings, grammatical errors), that’s a red flag.
- Keep your personal information private, including bank account and credit card details.
- If you’re told to call a number to “verify” your win, don’t call it. Instead, contact your local lottery.
If you have concerns about whether a website or message is legitimate, contact your state lottery.
You can also contact the Federal Trade Commission to get free information or file a complaint.
If you’ve been the victim of a scam, get in touch with your local police.New scam emails and texts using the Mega Millions name and logo are trying to fool players into believing they’ve won a prize – here’s how to avoid falling victim to them. ]]>