Protect Yourself From Fraud


We want you to enjoy your experience safely and responsibly. Here are some tips to protect you from fraud. Attempts to deceive people, especially Internet users, into believing that they have won a lottery prize are now commonplace. Some common scams include:
  • A person claims he is unable to redeem a winning ticket because he is in the country illegally, and offers to sell you the "winning" ticket. A second person - posing as a stranger to the first person - walks by, and "confirms" that the ticket is "valid."
  • A person says the lottery requires cash up-front to redeem a winning ticket and offers to split the prize with you in exchange for the "good faith" money.
  • You receive a letter with a foreign postmark and official-looking documents claiming you are one of the winners of a foreign lottery. The letter states you must send bank account information and/or pay a processing fee to claim your prize.
Information to help you avoid being a victim:
  • Never give money or valuables to a stranger to redeem a lottery prize.
  • "Good faith" money or banking information is never required by the Illinois Lottery to claim a prize.
  • Undocumented U.S. residents are permitted to claim their own Illinois Lottery prizes.
  • Never purchase tickets from foreign lotteries by phone or by mail. It is illegal for US citizens to participate in foreign lotteries through the mail.
  • Be suspicious if you receive a "winner" notice for a drawing you never entered.
  • Never reveal your credit card and bank account numbers to anyone unless you are certain the contact is legitimate, from a reputable company with whom you have a business relationship. The Illinois Lottery only requires credit card numbers when you phone us to purchase or renew a Lotto or Lucky Day Lotto (formerly Little Lotto) subscription.
  • Never accept a collect call from anyone claiming to be a lottery official.
  • Report suspicious "lottery" material to the Federal Trade Commission at or Call
    1-877-FTC-HELP. You can also contact the Illinois Attorney General or call the Illinois Lottery at 800-252-1775.
  • If you receive a telephone call from a direct marketer who promises instant lottery prizes, hang up! No lotteries in the U.S., including the Illinois Lottery operate this way.

Watch Out for Phishing

Phishing is an attempt to criminally and fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

Most methods of phishing use some form of technical deception designed to make a link in an e-mail (and the spoofed web site it leads to) appear to belong to the spoofed organization. Misspelled URLs or the use of subdomains are common tricks used by phishers, such as this URL:

Another common trick is to make the hyperlink appear to be valid, when the link actually goes to the phisher's site, such as Once they gain access, they can use your personal information to commit identity theft, charge your credit cards, empty your bank accounts, read your email, and lock you out of your online account by changing your password.

If you suspect you might have entered any financial information on a phishing site, contact your financial institution immediately! Change your password as soon as possible before a phisher can lock you out of your account.

You might also want to follow the advice from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for identity theft victims. Read the information and tips issued by the Federal Trade Commission about scams. Forward the suspicious e-mail to the Federal Trade Commission's address for unsolicited commercial e-mail at Notify the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) of the FBI by filing a complaint on their web site at

Additional Resources

NASPL - National Association of State and Provincial Lotteries
Federal Trade Commission