SCAM: “I won a prize but I need money to claim it. Can you help me with the up-front money? I’ll share the prize money with you when I get it.”
TRUTH: No money is ever required to claim a prize.
SCAM: “I can’t cash my Lottery ticket because I’m not a U.S. citizen. If you give me some money for it, I’ll let you cash it.”
TRUTH: You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to claim a lottery prize.
SCAM: “Let’s call the lottery to see if this is a winning ticket.”
TRUTH: The Colorado Lottery does not confirm whether or not tickets are winners over the telephone.
SCAM: You receive a check in the mail and you’re told you’re the winner of a big prize. You’re instructed to deposit the check and send a portion of it to an address to cover taxes and processing fees.
TRUTH: The check is fraudulent and will not clear. You’d be out of the money you send to the scam artist, as well as any additional funds that you withdraw from your account with the expectation that the check is valid.
If you are aware of, or have become a victim of a SCAM, report it!
Every day criminals and con artists find new ways to scam people out of their money. The best way to protect yourself is to be informed.
Be Alert When You Play
The only lottery that is legally authorized to operate in Colorado is the Colorado Lottery.
ONLY buy Lottery tickets from authorized Colorado retailers.
Double check your purchase and make sure that the retail clerk has given you what you’ve asked for.
Immediately sign your name on the back of your ticket(s). The signature on the back determines ownership.
If you purchase a Scratch ticket, make sure the play area on the front of the ticket has not been previously scratched. If the ticket appears to have been tampered with, contact Colorado Lottery Criminal Investigations unit at 800.999.2959.
Use the self-check Scratch ticket checkers available at many retail locations before handing it over to a clerk for redemption. The checker will tell you how much your winnings are so that you can make sure that you’re paid correctly. Check the Colorado Lottery’s website for Jackpot games’ winning numbers and payout amounts before you redeem at a store.
Ask to see the cash receipt for your winning tickets. You can’t keep the receipt, but it’ll tell you how much you’ve won so you can be sure that you’re receiving the correct prize amount.
Colorado terminals are programmed to announce when a Lottery ticket is a winner. Listen for the message when you’re redeeming your tickets.
Some Scratch games offer second-chance drawings online for non-winning instant tickets. Check your ticket to see if it offers one.
If you suspect a retailer is not paying out prizes correctly, contact the Colorado Lottery’s Criminal Investigations Unit at 800.999.2959.
Don’t Be a Victim of SCAMS
Never redeem a lottery ticket for someone that you don’t know.
Only participate in a “lottery pool” with people you know and trust.
Never accept collect phone calls from someone claiming to be a Lottery official. Legitimate lotteries will not call you collect!
Undocumented aliens are permitted to claim their own Colorado Lottery prizes.
Never purchase tickets from foreign lotteries by phone, mail or the Internet. The sale and trafficking in foreign lottery tickets is a violation of federal criminal law.
If you receive a notice saying that you’re a drawing winner for a drawing that you never entered, be suspicious.
Never pay processing, insurance or commissions to claim or receive a prize. Legitimate lotteries do not require winners to pay anything up front to collect a prize.
Never reveal your personal, credit card and bank account numbers to anyone claiming you’ve won a prize.
If a large check appears from an unknown person, do not cash it. Obtain advice from your financial institution.
Do not wire money abroad as part of a lottery transaction.
Be suspicious about letters that request that you keep your award confidential for security or other reasons.
It is illegal for Colorado Lottery retailers to charge a fee to cash a winning Lottery ticket. Contact our Investigations Unit immediately at 800.999.2959 to report.
We employ a Criminal Investigations Unit dedicated to ensuring that Lottery business is conducted with integrity, ethics and efficiency. Spot check investigations of our retailers are routinely conducted to make sure that retail employees are adhering to established procedures for the sale of Lottery products. All fraudulent and deceptive practices claims are thoroughly investigated, and criminal charges are sought when warranted. If you have security concerns regarding the sale of Lottery goods, please contact the Lottery’s Criminal Investigations Unit.