Lottery Scams: How to Spot and Avoid Them

By: Grace Gilrane

Key Takeaways

  • Only buy tickets from authorized lottery retailers
  • Learn some of the signs of a lottery scam
  • Contact authorities immediately if you have been scammed

While playing the lottery can be a fun activity or hobby, it is important to play safe. Lottery scams are something to look out for when playing. Let’s look at how you can spot, avoid, and deal with lottery scams.

Lottery Scams: How to Spot and Avoid Them

How do you go about spotting a lottery scam before getting involved? Con artists are usually good at disguising their scams in plain sight. Not to worry though, there are a few general rules of thumb you can follow to avoid those scams.

Only Buy from Authorized Retailers

When purchasing a lottery ticket make sure to do it only through authorized retailers. This seems like a simple and obvious precaution to take to avoid getting scammed but it is an easy way to ensure you are playing safely.

Only Play in Pools with Those you Trust

Playing in a lottery pool or lottery club is something you should only do with people you know and trust. Avoid playing in groups with strangers or individuals that seem sketchy, and do research on lottery clubs if necessary. There is information online to answer questions about lottery clubs and pools.

Avoid Sharing Personal Information

With advancements in the internet and social media it has become more important to safeguard our personal information. The same goes for playing the lottery. You should avoid sharing personal information about yourself and your financial details through any unreliable websites or over the phone.

If someone calls and asks for your credit card numbers for the promise of lottery cash prizes or memberships, well, that’s a call you want to hang up.

Red Flags: Signs of a Lottery Scam

When being mindful of lottery scams while playing there are more than a few red flags to look for that can be giveaways to scams. If you receive any letters, phone calls, emails, etcetera from someone offering you a guarantee of winning a prize do not reply to these communications.

No one can guarantee a win in the lottery, but you can be guaranteed a chance of winning if you purchase a legal, legitimate, ticket.

If someone you don’t know asks you to redeem their ticket for them, do not do it. Only redeem tickets for yourself or someone you know well and trust.

If you receive a collect call claiming to be a lottery official do not accept it because it may very well be a scammer.

Reporting Lottery Scams: What to Do If You’ve Been Scammed

While being careful upfront can help to avoid lottery scams, sometimes there are instances where people playing get roped into scams. What do you do if that happens?

You may need to think like a detective and collect all the evidence you can that has led to this scam occurring. Then, contact authorities to help rectify the issue.