Kentucky Lottery officials say phone scammers appear to be targeting unsuspecting lottery players.
"We've received information that someone is calling people from an out-of-state phone number saying they're from something called the ‘Mega Bucks Sweepstakes'," said Kentucky Lottery Vice President of Communications Chip Polston. "After telling the person they're on the way to their home to present them their prize, they request a $1500 processing fee."
"Prizes don't have processing fees," said Polston. "That should be an immediate signal that you're about to be scammed."
Some of the confusion, according to Polston, stems from the fact that the Kentucky Lottery recently conducted a legitimate second-chance promotion involving a similarly-named ticket ("Big Ol' Bucks"). In addition, a current Final Top Prize entry ticket also shares a similar name ("Jumbo Bucks").
Here are additional tips to prevent scammers from succeeding:
Unless you specifically entered a promotional game sponsored by the Kentucky Lottery Corporation, you will never be contacted by us informing you that you have won a prize.
Never accept a collect call from anyone claiming to be a lottery official.
Keep your credit card and bank account numbers to yourself. Scam artists will often ask for them during an unsolicited sales pitch. The Kentucky Lottery will never ask for this type of information.