Mississippians should be aware — a notice saying they are big winners could result in big losses.
Attorney General Jim Hood has issued an alert on phony phone marketers promising lottery winnings or bogus checks in the mail.
This particular scam, referred to as the lottery scam, can surface via phone, mail or email. The standard con includes a claim of a fairly significant win. The mail version of this scam may even include a check with a legitimate business name printed on it. Many times, these checks will even contain a real routing number in order to try and initially fool the banking system, giving the appearance that the check is legitimate when in fact it will later bounce.
“Lottery scams are reported to our office just about every day,” said Hood. “Cons will send out these checks hoping to convince the consumer into believing that they are getting a significant amount of money if they just cover a small amount of taxes or fees in return. We have even had reports that these crooks claim I am going to deliver the winnings personally. Although I liked Ed McMahon, I will not be delivering checks to people’s homes.”
Attorney General Hood advises that the best approach to these schemes is to ignore them. If you have not entered into a lottery or sweepstakes, then it is unlikely you have won one.
Also, you never have to pay to collect winnings from a legitimate lottery. You pay taxes after you receive the winnings.
Anyone who suspects they have been a victim of this scam or any other should contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-281-4418 or 601-359-4230. Visit www.agjimhood.com for more information.