CA Lottery Home

Who We Are Games Retailers Corporate Social Responsibility Español

How to Avoid Lottery Scams

SCAM artists are getting even more creative in trying to rip you off. Several new tricks involve bogus claims that you have won a prize. CA Lottery’s Donna Cordova reveals the con and explains how to avoid falling victim.

        Alert Lottery Scams

Watch the Video »

Read the brochure »

Report Scams and Suspicious Activity

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.

Steps to Avoid Scams

If it's too good to be true, it probably is.

Don't get played by con artists. Know the scams and avoid them.

Fraudulent Tickets

Con artists try to sell what may appear to be a winning lottery ticket to unsuspecting individuals. Typically these tickets have either been altered or purchased after the actual drawing. We advise you to only buy lottery tickets from authorized California Lottery retailers.

Unaffiliated Websites

This website ( is the ONLY website for the California Lottery. Never purchase Lottery products from any other website asking you to subscribe and requesting personal information. NEVER provide any personal, banking or other relevant information to a “contact person” or other representative – including social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, or any telephone numbers.

Unclaimed Prize Scam

Delete any emails you receive regarding unclaimed funds or prizes stating you must call a designated representative who will ask you for personal information and a processing fee in order to claim your prize. Never send any money to pay for “processing fees” or other suggested fees for claiming an alleged prize. This money will never be recovered!

Fraudulent Check Scam 

Never deposit a check you have received in the mail from a supposed lottery organization. The letter informs you of your winnings, instructing you to deposit the check enclosed and then wire a portion back to the sender as a fee before receiving the remaining balance. After wiring the fee, the victim is notified by their bank that the original check has bounced.