Wisconsin Lottery players are the apparent target of the latest twist on an old scam. State officials say several lottery players have reported receiving a phone call claiming they won a special Mega Millions jackpot drawing. The problem, says state Division of Consumer Protection Administrator Sandy Chalmers, is that no such drawing exists.
Those receiving the calls are being promised a big prize, but first they need to hand over sensitive personal or banking information. They may also be asked to pay a small fee before the prize can be issued. Chalmers says the so-called winner actually ends up losing money and their information could be in the hands of identity thieves.
Chalmers says this type of scam has been around for a while and it’s not uncommon for thieves to operate under the name of a company or organization the public is familiar with. She says “everybody wants to believe they’re the big winner,” which makes the potential victim a little more vulnerable to the scam. However, the Wisconsin Lottery will never contact someone about winning a prize, unless they specifically signed up for a second chance drawing or other promotion. Even then, Chalmers says the state would never ask for an upfront fee or personal information. She says anyone receiving such a call should just hang up.
If any residents believe they may have already been the victim of the scam, they are urged to contact the state Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:01)