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.
“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.