Lottery warns of uptick in reported scams, even lottery seller gets called

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FRANKORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky Lottery officials say they’ve seen an increase in the number of inquiries from players being contacted and told they’ve won a large cash prize.

These calls are scams, and “serve no other purpose than to steal money from unsuspecting victims,” the Lottery warned.

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“We typically see these things start to increase in frequency around large record-breaking jackpots,” said Chip Polston, the Kentucky Lottery’s senior vice president of communications, PR and social responsibility. “Trying to steal money from someone during a global pandemic when many people are very concerned about their finances is a new low, even for these scumbags.”

Polston advised residents to remember a simple test: “When you buy a ticket, do you give us your phone number? No. Do we take your email address at a retailer when you buy one of our games? No. So we have no means to reach out to you in a manner such as this,” he said.

Scammers are casting such a wide net that even a Kentucky Lottery retailer in Edmonson County got a call Wednesday from someone trying to convince staff at the store they’d won a $3 million prize.

The scams typically take one of two forms:

— The scammers want the person to pre-pay taxes on your “prize”, often via gift cards or online accounts. There’s no prize, and they steal what you’ve paid.

— Scammers want access information to bank accounts so they can supposedly wire the “prize” to a player, but once they have this info, they steal what’s in the account.

Residents should ignore any such contact, and report fraudulent calls or emails to the Kentucky Attorney General’s office.