TOPEKA – (December 21, 2011) – Consumers should watch out for foreign lottery scams, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and officials from the Kansas Lottery warned today.
The Attorney General’s Office and the Lottery have received an increasing number of complaints regarding foreign lotteries in the past few days, and Kansans should be aware that these are scams, they said.
“Consumers should never believe phone calls or emails saying they have won a foreign lottery,” Schmidt said. “These are scams and violations of Kansas law.”
Most frequently, scammers will contact a consumer, saying he or she has won a large sum of money in a lottery in a foreign country, and the winner only needs to send a small amount of money to pay the taxes and process the prize. The scammer may ask the consumer for a bank account number to deposit the funds, but in reality they are obtaining this information in order to make unauthorized withdrawals.
“The Kansas Lottery is the only legally operating lottery in the State of Kansas,” Kansas Lottery Executive Director Dennis Wilson reminded Kansans. “One of the easiest ways to detect a scam is knowing that Lottery officials will never ask you for money up front to collect a prize and will never ask for banking information over the phone.”
Any consumer who has been a victim of a foreign lottery or sweepstakes scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-432-2310 or www.ksag.org