(UnitedVoice.com) – Criminals are always looking for ways to steal money from hardworking people. In 2022, Americans lost more than $8 billion to scams. Michigan officials are now warning about a scheme that could impact people who play the Lottery.
The Michigan Lottery is warning people about scams involving people who are pretending to be lottery agents. Spokesman Jake Harris explained to The Oakland Press that these kinds of schemes are very popular during and after the holiday season because people give and receive gifts for Christmas.
Harris said it was a good time to remind people who might not play lotto games that they can’t win a prize if they don’t have a ticket. So, if someone approaches them claiming to be a Lottery official and saying they won a massive prize, it’s not true if they don’t have a ticket.
Fraudsters carry out the scam in a few ways. One is by contacting a victim and telling them they’ve won a prize but have to pay a fee in order to access the winnings. The victim is usually asked to get a cashier’s check and mail it out, or to make an electronic fund transfer. Sometimes, the fake agent arranges a physical meeting with the “winner” so they can pay the alleged fee.
Another way the criminals trick victims is by saying they, the scammer, won a prize and they want to share it with others, like the victim. The fraudster then tells the victim they will share it with them for a fee. If the victim agrees, the scam artist tells them to make an electronic funds transfer, mail a cashier’s check, or arrange to meet them somewhere.
Harris said victims should contact local law enforcement officers if they believe they were scammed. They can also report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by visiting the federal agency’s website here.
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