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Mega Millions winners beware of the latest scams

With the jackpot at over a billion US dollars and hundreds of millions of tickets bought, the scammers are ready to take advantage.

Hawthorne, CA - July 29: Ngamako Patra buys her Mega Millions lottery, as jackpot tops $1 billion, at Bluebird Liquor  on Friday, July 29, 2022 in Hawthorne, CA. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Irfan KhanGetty

Friday’s $1.2 billion jackpot prize in the Mega Millions draw was big news and Americans all across the country were making sure that they had their tickets at the ready when the numbers were announced. When they were, we found out that the much-anticipated balls had the following printed on them: 13, 36, 45, 57, 67 and the extra 14.

But there was another cohort looking to win big, without even buying a ticket in the first place: the scammers. Here is the warning from the official Mega Millions webpage.

Watch out for lottery scammers

Increasingly aggressive scam operators fraudulently using the Mega Millions® name and logo are promising big prizes to people who receive official-looking emails or texts, or through random phone calls. As with all lottery scams, these scammers are trying to lure consumers into thinking they have won a big “prize.” They are in no way connected to the real Mega Millions game despite their using our name and/or logo.

One recent effort making the rounds is using WhatsApp to send “Cash Gift” award notifications to random phone numbers around the world – see the sample image below. It is promising a $700,000 cash prize, and the scammers hope that an unsuspecting recipient will pay a large fee to claim a “prize” that does not exist.

There have also been increasing reports of callers claiming to represent Mega Millions reaching consumers by phone, promising cash and other “prizes” such as cars. They can sound very convincing on the phone, but are simply trying to steal your money. They do not represent Mega Millions.Mega Millions warns consumers that there are no random prizes awarded anywhere in the world simply on the basis of phone numbers or email addresses. Our game is sold only in the United States and only by our participating lotteries. The only way to win Mega Millions is to first purchase a ticket from an American lottery; if you haven’t purchased a ticket, you haven’t won. And there is never a fee to claim a real lottery prize.

Once again, we warn consumers that these scams are not connected in any way to the real Mega Millions game despite their use of our name and/or logo. Lottery officials strongly warn people not to respond – the scammers just want to steal your money. If you have any questions about the legitimacy of any website, email or text using the Mega Millions name and logo, please contact us or the lottery in your jurisdiction.

Read more about lottery scams.

Be careful out there you lucky winners...


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