With the new year underway, the Missouri Lottery is once again reminding players how to protect themselves and their loved ones from fraudulent practices for the rest of 2014 and beyond. Missouri Lottery Executive Director May Scheve Reardon said, “Being an informed consumer is the best way to ensure you’re not a scam artist’s next conquest.”
Reardon wants players to realize that phone calls and emails that appear to be too good to be true should be considered red flags.
"It’s a good possibility that a scam is in progress when telemarketers, spam emails or advertisements promise winnings, especially in a contest a person doesn’t recall entering,” Reardon noted.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), consumers lose billions of dollars each year because of deceitful business practices.
“Players can curtail scammers by being alert and questioning anything that doesn’t seem right,” Reardon shared, adding that in terms of Lottery-related prizes, there are several key factors that players should understand. The Lottery will never:
•Require Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, mother’s maiden name, etc., from winners over the phone;
•Require a winner to provide money upfront to claim a prize;
•Require a timeframe of less than two weeks to respond to or act on a ticket-entry promotion prize deadline;
•Use “pop-up” advertising on MOLottery.com; or
•Confirm that a Lottery ticket is a winner over the phone.
When in doubt, players should contact the Missouri Lottery at 1-866-MOLOTTERY (1-866-665-6883).
“Too often people fall prey to duplicitous scams,” Reardon started. “We want players to know that help is available, and we’ll do what we can to ensure their safety.”
To further protect players, Reardon encourages visiting the Missouri Attorney General’s website to view a list of the “Top 10” scams cycling throughout the nation: http://ago.mo.gov/consumercomplaints/topten/index.htm. On the website, visitors can also file and search for consumer complaints and access information about identity theft, the “no call” list and more.
Unfair or deceptive business practices can also be reported by calling the Missouri Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-8222.
To learn more, visit http://www.molottery.com/scams/scams.shtm.