TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Lottery is warning citizens of a new e-mail scam that seems to be circulating throughout the nation. In this latest scam, an e-mail is sent to victims stating that he/she has won a Florida Lottery prize.
Though the e-mail does not request money in exchange for the fictitious prize, it does direct the recipient to submit a prize claim form that’s embedded in the body of the e-mail. On this form, the recipient is asked to provide personal information, including a social security number, date of birth, street address and telephone number.
The e-mail displays the Florida Lottery’s official Customer Service e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) as the sender and includes the name of the Lottery’s current Customer Service Supervisor, implying that the e-mail was sent from the Florida Lottery.
“Unfortunately, there are a number of scams out there using the Florida Lottery name as the lure to swindle people out of their savings or personal information, which can result in loss of income or identity theft, as we suspect to be the case with this most recent scam,” said Doug Pitts, Director of Security at the Florida Lottery.
The Florida Lottery will never contact players to say they’ve won a prize unless they’ve entered a “promotional game” or “second chance drawing” sponsored by the Agency. In these cases, players will receive an e-mail stating they’ve won along with information pertaining to the promotion they participated in and instructions on how to claim their prize. For the most part, players are asked to visit the nearest Florida Lottery district office or instructed to download the required claim forms from the official Florida Lottery Web site, www.flalottery.com, for submission via regular mail to the Lottery’s headquarters in Tallahassee, Fla.
Following are important tips to remember:
The Florida Lottery will never ask for your Social Security Number via e-mail.
ONLY buy Florida Lottery tickets from authorized retailers. Visit the Florida Lottery Web site at www.flalottery.com to find a retailer near you.
NEVER redeem a Florida Lottery ticket for a stranger.
NEVER pay money to collect a prize.
NEVER give your credit card numbers or personal information over the telephone or via e-mail to anyone promising Florida Lottery cash prizes or memberships.
NEVER accept a collect telephone call from someone claiming to be a Florida Lottery official.
NEVER respond to a letter, telephone call or e-mail about a promotion or game you don’t remember participating in or buying a ticket for.
NEVER respond to a letter, telephone call or email from someone who offers you a guarantee of winning a prize. The Florida Lottery does not guarantee prizes, only the chance of winning if you buy a legitimate ticket from an authorized retailer.
For tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of lottery scams, visit the Security section of the Florida Lottery Web site at http://www.flalottery.com/aboutus-securityMain.do. For more information or to report a lottery scam, consumers should contact the Florida Lottery’s Customer Service Division at (850) 487-7787 or Security Division at (850) 487-7730.
For more information on prevalent scams, including lottery schemes, consumers may visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Web Site or the Florida Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Web Site.