OLYMPIA— For the second time in as many months, a scam e-mail, disguised to appear to be from Mega Millions officials, is circulating online. The intent of the scam is to fool recipients into disclosing personal information in hopes of receiving $520,000 promised in the e-mail. The message includes language, which may appear official, but is actually completely false. A copy of one of the e-mails, obtained by Mega Millions, said:
“Congratulation! Our database showed your E-mail address was one of the selected jackpot winners of the sum of $520,000.00. Please complete the details below to file your claim and email to our fiduciary agent to process your payment immediately.”
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This e-mail is a SCAM. It is intended to fool recipients into disclosing personal information. The e-mail asks the recipient to complete paperwork to ‘file a claim.’ Once scammers receive such information, the next step is often to tell the ‘winner’ there is a ‘processing fee’ to file the claim to receive their prize. Because the prize is purported to very large, the processing fee is usually substantial. Because the e-mail uses the official Mega Millions logo copied from the Mega Millions web site, the e-mail appears official.
Mega Millions winners are NOT selected by e-mail addresses. There is NO “fiduciary agent.” Mega Millions has NO agent of any sort in the United Kingdom, the country of origin listed at the top of the e-mail. The only way to win a Mega Millions prize is to purchase a ticket from a licensed lottery retailer in one of the 12 Mega Millions states and match the winning numbers for the corresponding Mega Millions drawing.
“Lotteries typically do not notify prize winners by e-mail and do not request your personal information over the phone,” said Lottery spokesperson Jacque Coe. “The age old rule applies; if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In this case, if you didn’t buy a ticket, how could you win?”
It’s important for people to protect themselves from e-mail scams. They should be suspicious of any unsolicited message, especially if it claims that they have won a game that they did not play. If someone contacts you claiming to be from a Lottery office calling with information about a prize you did nto realize you won or did not enter, be suspicious. Simply call your local lottery office to verify the information; all lotteries in the United States are run by state agencies, including Mega Millions. ,
WASHINGTON'S LOTTERY: Since 1982, Washington's Lottery has generated more than $2.5 billion to important state programs, including education construction, stadium debt reduction, economic development and problem gambling prevention and treatment. In FY '09 Washington's Lottery contributed more than $115 million to state programs. Washington’s Lottery is deeply committed to making sure every Lottery dollar counts when it comes to supporting vital state programs. Washington's Lottery offers consumers several types of games: Mega Millions, Lotto, Hit 5, Match 4, The Daily Game, Daily Keno, and Scratch. For more information, visit www.walottery.com.