MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Lottery and state officials are urging lottery players to think twice before giving out personal information to anyone who contacts them and says they have won a lottery prize, according to a release.
Several people have reported they were recently contacted about supposedly winning a special drawing associated with the Mega Millions jackpot game, according to the release.
The caller has attempted to get the player to provide money and personal information in order to process a prize claim, according to the release.
Officials said the special drawing does not exist and the caller is a thief.
"Be suspicious of calls out of the blue that seem too good to be true," Mike Edmonds, lottery director, said in the release. "Don't let the idea of a big prize cloud your judgment and lead you into a big mistake."
Lottery, prize notice and sweepstakes scams are a significant issue for Wisconsin consumers, according to the release.
"Identity thieves often pretend to represent an institution you trust, and trick you into revealing personal information by phone or email," Sandy Chalmers, DATCP's division administrator for trade and consumer protection said in the release. "Legitimate sweepstakes and lotteries do not require winners to pay an upfront fee to collect a prize."
Officials said the Wisconsin Lottery will never contact players to tell them they've won a prize, unless they have entered a second-chance or special event drawing. The Lottery will also never ask for personal bank information as a prerequisite to claiming a prize, or require players to pay a fee or make special additional purchase to claim a prize.
Officials said if anyone is suspicious of a caller, they should contact the Lottery at 608-261-4916 or email email@example.com.
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