LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Have you ever dreamed of winning the lottery? That could make you a scammers dream. The Hoosier Lottery is taking action to stop a new hoax using their name and phone recordings to try and trick victims. In fact, there is a nationwide bulletin from the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries going around about this lottery scam. One of the most elaborate some officials say they've ever seen.
For Anna Carlisle it has been a lifelong dream.
"I am 73 years old," Carlisle said. "I've been trying to win ever since it came out," she said with a laugh.
"People want to win the lottery," said Kentucky Lottery spokesman Chip Polston. "That's the underlying thing that keeps these scammers in business."
Kentucky Lottery got word of the latest scam attempt in late June. First potential victims get a letter or e-mail saying they have won the lottery and they need to call a toll free number. When they call they get a recording of the actual Indiana Lottery hotline.
"This one is really taking it up a notch," Polston said. "And I think that's why a lot of us are really concerned with this because they are stealing material from the Hoosier Lottery to give it a certain air of legitimacy."
Once you hit one the call is transferred to a foreign sounding operator who says he'll transfer your prize to your bank or credit card account, right after you give him your account information. Then they use the information to steal money or their identity.
The Indiana Lottery is fighting back, creating a special section on their website to warn people and contacting the state Attorney General's office.
"Fraudulent telemarketing schemes within the United States and abroad persuade people to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on illegal lotteries and sweepstakes," said Courtney Arango, communications director for Hoosier Lottery in an email. "These telemarketers ensure customers that they have good chances of winning or they have already won but need to send a ‘processing fee’ or divulge confidential information (i.e., credit card number, bank account number, or Social Security number) in order to receive their prize. The Hoosier Lottery never requires winners to pay a processing fee prior to receiving their prize or cash payments, regardless of the amount won."
Arango said if a player does not have a ticket, he/she cannot win a prize. The Hoosier Lottery will not contact a player regarding a prize unless he/she has entered a second chance drawing or is a myLottery member. Polston said things operate much the same way with the Kentucky Lottery.
If players or non-players have questions or suspicions about a prize, or if anyone is concerned because he/she is being asked for personal information, contact the Hoosier Lottery at 1-800-955-6886 or email email@example.com.
For more information about scams and fraud related to lotteries, please visit the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries web page.
The scammers have now pulled down the recording of the Indiana Lottery line and replaced it with the Minnesota Lottery recording. Hoosier Lottery officials have reached out to their counterparts in Minnesota and notified them.
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