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PLAYERS: To report complaints against Lottery retailers, please contact Lottery Security & Law Enforcement toll-free at 800-LOTTERY (800-568-8379).

ALLIED LAW ENFORCEMENT: To communicate with the Lottery regarding criminal activity involving Lottery products, please call (916) 822-8282 M-F 8am-5pm PT. During non-business hours please call (916) 822-8000.

Lotto Scam

Get the latest facts.

The Latin Lotto Scam is typically run by con artists from Central and South America. These con artists use fake or altered California Lottery tickets in the scam. Many victims are reluctant to report these crimes due to embarrassment of being a victim. A single victim of this scam can lose between $1000 to more than $100,000 in cash, jewelry or other property. Information provided by law enforcement agencies and state lottery commissions indicate that these con artists travel between different states committing the Latin Lotto scam on citizens of different states.

Don’t be a victim. If you are approached by anyone attempting this scam, leave the area, call the local police and the California Lottery Security & Law Enforcement Division and provide a description of the con artists, vehicle(s) and license plate number(s).

Latin Lotto – How it works:

The con artist(s) will approach you at a business such as a home improvement store, shopping mall, grocery store, hospital or in the parking lot. These con artists will usually work in pairs or teams. The story they tell will be a sad one and may use one of the following scenarios:

“I cannot claim the prize because I’m not a U.S. citizen.” 

Fact: You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to claim a lottery prize.

“We can call the Lottery to verify that this is winning ticket.”

Fact: If they give you a number to call or insist on dialing the phone number, you will not be connected to a California Lottery representative. Don’t let them make the call; you should use your phone and dial, 1-800-LOTTERY (1-800-568-8379) and ask to speak to the Security & Law Enforcement Division.

“I need money to claim my prize. If you help me, we can share the prize amount.” 

Fact: The California Lottery does not require any money upfront to claim a prize.

“I’m in a hurry and need to return to my country for a family emergency.” 

Fact: The con artists are trying to prey on your kindness and rush you into giving them money before you have a chance to think about or ask a family member or friend for advice or help.