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Avoiding Scams

Protect Yourself!



If you get letters and phone calls that promise lottery prizes, you can be sure a crooked business is trying to get your money! The same is true if you visit a website that makes the same promises.

Wouldn’t we all love to win a jackpot just because someone sent us a letter? And how convenient it would be to play several national or international lotteries without ever leaving home! Real lotteries do not operate this way.

These criminal businesses offer you wonderful things BECAUSE THEY WANT YOUR MONEY! They want your cash and your credit cards. Criminals usually operate lottery scams in countries outside the United States. These businesses earn hundreds of millions of dollars a year by stealing from innocent people, mostly American seniors! Our government won’t allow them to conduct their illegal business here, but there is no easy way for law enforcement authorities to stop them from sending you letters and calling you on the phone. They ask you for a small fee or for your credit card number to guarantee a lottery prize or to get a set of winning numbers. They never deliver the instant wealth they promise.

It is often difficult or impossible to get your money back from the people who operate these scams. Prosecuting these businesses requires cooperation between our government and foreign governments, and so far no government has been able to close the scam artists down quickly or easily.

Don't let anyone steal your life's savings by making empty promises!

How can you protect yourself?


  • Never give your credit card numbers over the Internet or over the phone to a business promising lottery jackpots!
  • Never send cash to an unfamiliar or foreign business!
  • Never accept a collect phone call from someone claiming to be a lottery official! Real lotteries do not call collect.
  • Never believe an Internet offer, a letter or a phone call from someone who offers you a guarantee of winning a prize! Real lotteries do not guarantee prizes.
  • Never join a “lottery pool.” Real lotteries do not ask people to join prize pools.
  • Never trust someone who says you can win the lottery by purchasing a set of “winning numbers” instead of a ticket. Real lotteries require you to buy a ticket to win a prize. You must possess the winning lottery ticket to claim a prize.

What Can You Do?


If you receive materials from suspicious businesses, have a question about a suspicious Web site, or receive phone calls that you would like to discuss with us at the Oregon Lottery, please call (503) 540-1400. You may also write to us:

Lottery Scams
Oregon State Police
Lottery Security Section
PO Box 12649
Salem, OR 97309-0649


Or email us at: lottery.webcenter@state.or.us

Please send a copy of any correspondence you receive, or write down the URL (Web address) of any suspicious Internet site.

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14 15 19 31 56 05 05
December 20, 2014
Jackpot: $100,000,000*

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Oregon Lottery • 500 Airport Road SE, Salem, OR, 97301 • PO Box 12649 Salem, OR, 97309-0649 • www.oregonlottery.org
Phone: 503-540-1000 • Fax: 503-540-1001 • Email: lottery.webcenter@state.or.us