Monday, September 22, 2014

Lottery Scammers Targeting Wyoming Residents

The Wyoming Lottery has been selling ticket for less than a month. That's not long but lottery scammers have already been trying to pull in fresh victims by contacting people and telling them they've won large WyoLotto prizes.

In one scam potential victims receive a call from someone claiming to represent the Wyoming Lottery who tells them they have won a $2.5 million US Powerball or US Mega Millions prize. The caller then states an $800 fee is required to cover taxes and prize processing costs.

Wyoming Lottery CEO Jon Clontz has issued a statement warning Wyoming residents not to be taken in, stating the Wyoming Lottery does not know who the winners are until they come forward and present their tickets.

"We don’t notify people if they’ve won, they notify us," Clontz said.

Clontz also pointed out the Wyoming Lottery does not require a payment from players before prizes can be processed.

Lottery scammers can be very convincing and often try to get victims to part with personal information that can then be used to steal their identity. In another version of the scam unsuspecting victims are sent large checks to deposit into their bank accounts and are then duped into parting with money to cover the fees. By the time the victim's bank contacts them to say the check has bounced it is too late.

In May this year, Canadian woman, Diana Barnowich discovered her elderly mother had fallen victim to lottery scammers, based in Jamaica, and prevented her from mailing them CAD$ 2,500 in cash. She later discovered her mother had already sent the scammers over CAD$ 11,000 to cover fees for the bogus prize.