Now that the lottery is giving out big prizes and consumers are enthusiastically participating, Players should be aware of the opportunism of scammers looking to take their money.
Mega Millions has issued an appeal warning of scammers who are becoming more aggressive and fraudulently using its name and logo, promising big prizes to people who receive emails or text messages that look officialor through random phone calls.
“As with all lottery scams, these scammers try to trick consumers into thinking they’ve won a big ‘prize.’ They are not connected in any way with the actual Mega Millions game even though they use our name and/or logo”, says the institution in a statement.
Scammers are also using WhatsApp to send “Cash Gift” prize notifications to random phone numbers around the world. They promise a cash prize of $700,000, and the scammers expect an unsuspecting recipient to pay a high fee to claim a “prize” that doesn’t exist.
There has also been an increase in reports of people claiming to represent Mega Millions reaching out to consumers over the phone, promising cash and other “prizes” such as cars. And although they may sound very convincing on the phone, they are simply trying to steal money from consumers and in no way represent the institution.
Mega Millions cautions consumers that prizes are not awarded randomly anywhere in the world simply based on phone numbers or email addresses: “Our game is sold only in the United States and only through our participating lotteries. The only way to win Mega Millions is to first buy a US lottery ticket; if you haven’t bought a ticket, you haven’t won. And there is never a fee to claim an actual lottery prize.”
Mega Millions warns consumers that the scams are in no way connected to the actual game despite using the name and/or logo. Lottery officials advise people not to respond: “Scammers just want to steal your money. If you have any questions about the legitimacy of any website, email, or text message using the Mega Millions name and logo, please contact us or the lottery in your jurisdiction.”
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