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Florida Lottery issues consumer alert for scam

2:49 PM, Jun 28, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The state Lottery has issued a warning about a scam targeting Floridians' cash and personal information.

A bogus company using the name "Lotto Claims Associate and Sweepstake, Inc." is mailing letters stating the recipient has won a big prize worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. But there's a catch: the recipient must pay processing fees to collect.

The letter looks official and even includes a phony check to cover the fees of more than $4,000.

The director of security at the Florida Lottery said scammers often try to connect themselves with the Lottery, hoping a person will call about a prize and offer a credit card number to pay the fees.

Doug Pitts said don't fall for it.

"A legitimate lottery would never ask for any kind of funds to be provided up front in order for you to collect a prize, for a winner to collect a prize. So that is a red flag number one in this case."

Pitts adds that the Lottery does not contact winners except in rare cases.

"The Florida Lottery would not contact winners. The only time we reach out to notify a winner is if they have entered some type of promotional game, or a second chance drawing on our website."

You can report a lottery scam by calling the Security Division at (850) 487-7730.

Dave Heller

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