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Lottery Scams

The North Carolina Education Lottery (NCEL) is sometimes contacted by citizens who have received telephone calls, letters or emails concerning lotteries that are questionable. To help you in determining whether you have been contacted by a scam artist, we are providing a few guidelines, suggestions and resources.

There is no way to stop them without your help!
Here's what you can do:

  • Buy Lottery tickets only from authorized NCEL Lottery retailers.
  • Never redeem a Lottery ticket for someone you do not know.
  • Never give your credit card, social security, driver's license, passport or bank account numbers over the phone to anyone promising lottery cash prizes or memberships.
  • If you receive a letter, email or phone call to send money or you receive a check to cash with directions to send a portion of it back, do not respond. The check is not a valid check and will bounce. No legitimate lottery will ever send you this type of communication. (View Example)
  • If you are going to participate in a "lottery pool", do so only with people you know and trust.
The Scam The Truth

"This is a winning ticket, but I need money to claim it. If you help me with the upfront money, I'll share the jackpot with you."

Once the ticket is bought, no money is EVER required to claim a prize.

"I can't cash in my winning ticket because I'm not a U.S. citizen."

You don't have to be a U.S. citizen to claim a lottery prize as long as you have proper ID.

"Let's call the Lottery. They'll tell us this is a winning ticket."

NCEL NEVER confirms that a ticket is a winner over the phone. The person on the phone is just a part of the scam.

Keep in mind the adage: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

The following are resources where you can learn more about fraud and scams:

Retailer Locator
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