The Mississippi Lottery Corporation is warning you about the presence of a newly reported scam.
MLC President Tom Shaheen stated that officials have been alerted that Mississippians have received phone calls regarding a second chance at winning the Mega Millions® jackpot after there was no winner in Tuesday night’s drawing.
“Fake lottery scams are fairly common. You can receive a phone call, e-mail, text and even social media message that is seemingly real. Do not be fooled. Stay aware and play responsibly. We were informed [Wednesday] of a scam going around where Mississippians have received telephone calls regarding a second chance at winning the Mega Millions® jackpot. If you should receive such a call, you should immediately hang up. In addition, if you receive this information by email, text, social media message, or any other method of communication, do not respond. This is a scam, Shaheen said.
Additionally, the MLC provided the following tips on avoiding lottery scams.
- The Mississippi Lottery does not contact the winner. We don’t even know who the winner is until they step forward to claim a prize.
- In online games such as Powerball®, the lottery knows only the winning numbers drawn and where the ticket was sold. The winner must keep their ticket and confirm to lottery officials the numbers on the ticket. If a winner does not step forward with the winning numbers, no one wins the prize.
- A legitimate lottery never asks winners to pay taxes upfront. All federal and state taxes are paid before the lottery releases the money to the winner.
- Lotteries of foreign countries are illegal in the United States. No legitimate foreign lottery sells tickets in the United States. If you have been contacted by a lottery claiming to be affiliated with the government of another country, it is a scam.
- Finally, if you did not buy a ticket, you cannot win a lottery prize. If you have been contacted by a “lottery” claiming you won a prize, but you have never purchased a ticket, it is a scam.
If you think you’re a victim of fraud or attempted fraud by someone posing as a representative of the Mississippi Lottery Corporation, please report it to the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division at (601) 359-4230 or toll-free at (800) 281-4418.