Scam alert: Don’t fall for this phony Lottery scheme
"You won the lottery! Now, can I just get your Social Security number?"
That's the general message being sent out as part of a recent email and phone scam that has NJ Lottery officials concerned.
New Jersey Lottery Director Carole Hedinger says the scam hasn't actually hit New Jersey yet, but officials have been tipped off by someone in another state about this.
"We were alerted by someone out of state, not within New Jersey, and not in a neighboring state, that they had received an email, saying that they had won a New Jersey Lottery prize. And they were asked to provide some personal banking information in order to collect that prize," Hedinger said. "They were smart enough to alert us to that."
Hedinger said the NJ Lottery would never ask for personal information, bank account information or fees if someone won a prize. Hedinger said she has received phone calls from people claiming to be from the IRS and asking for her Social Security number in order to clear up a debt.
"I mean, it's unbelievable, the kind of scams that people will perpetrate. Asking for a Social Security number is a dead giveaway. Never, ever do that over the phone," Hedinger said.
In addition, Hedinger said the NJ Lottery does not notify winners via phone or email unless they've won a "second chance drawing" or they're a "vip club" member. She said anyone who suspects that they're being asked for information as part of scam should call the NJ Lottery and verify any information at 609-599-6100..
According to Hedinger people should also be suspicious of phone calls in which the caller claims you've won a prize for a contest you never entered, since that's a clear indication of a scam.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.
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