Avoiding Sweepstake/Lottery Scams

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Consumer Assistance Hotline:
(518) 474-8583
(800) 697-1220

Consumer Complaint Form
DOS Newsroom
FOIL Requests

The New York State Department of State Division of Consumer Protection alerts consumers to an increase in lottery scams. Lottery scammers use telephone calls, faxes, e-mails, and cell phone (mobile) text messages to connect with potential victims, and include persuasive messages to lure victims into responding. Consumer should keep the following tips in mind:

  • Don't pay anything to collect sweepstake winnings
  • Remember that United States residents cannot purchase tickets in international lotteries throughthe mail or over the phone
  • NEVER wire or transfer money
  • Do not send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier
  • Don't give personally identifying or financial information to callers
  • File a complaint with the U.S. Postal Service for lottery or sweepstakes scams perpetrated through the mail


Last Modified: April 26, 2011