Pennsylvania Lottery officials are warning residents of a recent scam originating from Jamaica.
Callers reporting the scam say they are contacted by someone with a Caribbean accent, and told they are the winner of a fake mega millions sweep-stakes or have won a prize from another lottery game.
The victims are then encouraged to make a payment for taxes in order to get their prize, but the prize is never paid.
Officials say these scams are common, especially in times of crisis. They say lottery officials will only contact players if they won a second-chance drawing, a giveaway where a player may have submitted an entry or to collect their winning story. Players will never receive a call or email at random.
“We encourage players who may receive suspicious lottery-related calls or emails to contact us and we can answer any questions they may have,” said Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko. “Our website contains a contact page to help players reach our headquarters office and our area offices across Pennsylvania.”
The Federal Trade Commission has more information on fake lottery and other scams. To file a complaint or get free information call toll-free, 1-877-382-4357. If you have been the victim of a scam, contact your local police, sheriff’s office or state police.