February 20, 2015

Lottery Offers Self-Checks to Help Players Avoid Scams


In recognition of national Scams Month this February, the Missouri Lottery wants to remind players that now, more than ever, they have the resources to self-verify if their ticket has won a Lottery prize.
“We have developed a number of prize verification services for player convenience and safety,” began May Scheve Reardon, executive director of the Missouri Lottery.
Reardon wants players to realize that a lot of these resources can be used at their favorite Lottery retail location or online.
“We have installed new Check-A-Ticket (CAT) Machines at all of our retail partner locations. Players can scan their Draw Game ticket’s barcode with this machine to verify if they have a winning ticket.”  
Additionally, Reardon added that all new Scratchers games have specialized FailSafe® barcodes on the ticket’s play area beneath the scratch-off coating.  Scratchers tickets with the FailSafe barcode can also be scanned on the CAT machine to verify the ticket’s prize.
“Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for consumers to be contacted by businesses with deceitful practices,” said Reardon. “These scams usually appear too good to be true, and we want our players to be wary of such situations. It’s important to note that players can’t win a cash prize for something they haven’t purchased a ticket for.”
To combat these types of scams, the Lottery has developed a variety of verification services to make it as easy as possible for players to identify if they have won a Lottery prize.
In addition to the Check-A-Ticket Machines, other self-verification services include:
   - Player-requested prize receipts from retail clerks;
   - Checking winning Draw Game numbers and remaining Scratchers prize amounts at MOLottery.com;
   - Signing up to receive winning Draw Game numbers via email or text message through a My Lottery Players Club account; and
   - Calling a regional winning numbers hotline:
        o Mid-Missouri:  (573) 751-1111
        o Kansas City:  (8116) 795-0203
        o Springfield:  (417) 888-4271
        o St. Louis:  (314) 340-5805
Additionally, after purchasing any Lottery ticket, players should sign the back, keep the ticket in a safe place and promptly check to see if they have won a prize.
When in doubt, players should contact the Missouri Lottery at 1-866-MOLOTTERY
(1-866-665-6883) to report suspicious activity.
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.


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