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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.

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Steps to Safeguard Your Tickets


How to protect your plays.

Take a moment before leaving the retail location

  • Did you receive the correct number of tickets?
  • Did you receive the correct wager amount?
  • Does your ticket have the correct number(s) you wished to play?
  • Did you receive any coupons, draw entries or promotions on selected games (i.e. Fantasy 5 Second Chance Draw)?
  • Did you receive a validation receipt from the retailer?

Read up on Consumer Protection

We provide brochures on multiple issues affecting consumers including Lottery scams, problem gambling, education dollars, winner information, and much more. Our Consumer Protection Plan pamphlet contains information on how you can avoid being a victim of lottery fraud or scams.

To read and print pdf document(s) you will need Acrobat Reader (free download)

Download our Consumer Protection Plan »

Always sign your ticket

We encourage you to always sign the back of your ticket as soon as it’s purchased. Signing your ticket helps to identify you as the rightful ticket holder and makes it difficult for someone else to claim your prize if you lose your ticket and it is a winner.

Always check your ticket

There are many ways to check your ticket. You can either come back to the website or get results by visiting a Lottery retailer with a Check-A-Ticket self-scan device, or by asking a retail clerk to scan it. Scanning your ticket can let you know if you’re a winner and how much you’ve won.

If you notice any suspicious activity regarding your Lottery purchase, contact our Security & Law Enforcement Division immediately at 1-800-LOTTERY (1-800-568-8379). The earlier you report suspicious activity the easier it is to investigate. Remember to have the following information when contacting the Lottery:

  • Retailer name
  • Retailer address
  • Date/time of incident