Lottery scams come in many forms but usually work along the same lines: someone will contact you to tell you that you’ve won the lottery in an attempt to get you to disclose personal information or pay some kind of fee.
These scams are becoming more common and harder to spot, so it’s important to be vigilant when playing online and dealing with prize claims. You can find out how to spot lottery scams – plus what to do if you’re the target of one – on this page.
Important: It is not possible to win a prize on Pick 3 - or any lottery, game, competition or sweepstake - if you have not entered. If someone contacts you to say you have won when you have not taken part, it is a scam.
The only way to win a Pick 3 prize is to bet on the game and match all the numbers. If you have placed a bet and think you might be a winner, there are several ways to make sure:
*Always be cautious when dealing with prize notification emails. Check the email address of the sender carefully to make sure it’s genuine, and do not click or tap on any links or download any attachments if you’re not completely certain that it has been sent by a trusted source.
Scams vary a lot in their level of sophistication, but some can look very convincing. The idea of winning a large amount of money is enough for many people to overlook fraudulent prize notifications. Ask yourself the following questions to help you determine whether you have been contacted by a fraudster:
There are various types of lottery scam and all of them are designed with one end goal in mind: to defraud you of your money and personal information. Read about the different forms that lottery scams take so you know what to look out for in future.
Email scams are among the most common types of lottery scam. It might be that you receive a message from someone claiming to represent an official game or lottery, or a lottery that doesn’t even exist. The email may ask you to provide personal or financial information, or it will ask you to pay an upfront fee before the prize money is paid out. Watch out for phishing emails too, which contain links to malicious sites which are designed to gather your information.
If you do genuinely win a Pick 3 prize, you will receive an email telling you that you have won, but it will not ask you to provide any personal details over email and it will not request the payment of a fee. If you are not sure whether an email is genuine, log in to your account to check your balance.
Beware of phone calls or texts which say that you telephone number has been randomly selected as the winning entry in a lottery. This is a regular scam and is not the way that lotteries operate. You cannot win Pick 3 prizes in this way and you will never be informed by telephone that you are a winner. If you are contacted in this way, remember that an official lottery would never ask you to provide personal or financial information over the phone.
Some scammers also use the telephone to sell bogus lottery tickets. If you receive a call from an unknown number offering to sell you lottery tickets at a discounted price, simply hang up as there is a risk that the call is a scam. These scammers will take payment from you but the tickets will not materialise, nor will any record of the transaction.
Scammers sometimes set up fake social media accounts to pose as official lotteries, perhaps even using official-looking logos and images. If you are contacted via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other form of social media about winning a lottery or competition, remain wary. Pick-3.com does not use social media platforms to tell winners about prizes or ask them for personal details.
In the age of the internet, fraudsters still use the post to send out scams, so take caution if you receive something through your letterbox telling you that you've won the lottery. You may receive a letter that does not address you by name, asks you to provide personal details or asks you to pay an upfront fee before you can receive your winnings. Pick 3 winners will never be contacted by post, so if you receive such a letter you can be sure it is a scam.
One of the most important things to do when dealing with a scam is spotting one for what it is. If you've received a message that contains some of the signs of a scam, there are a few other things you should do:
If you have already sent personal or financial information to someone and think it may be a scam, you should alert your bank immediately. You can also report scams to a fraud agency such as Action Fraud.
Law enforcement agencies around the world are working hard to tackle scams and bring fraudsters to justice, but new scams will keep emerging. Stay vigilant and remember that you cannot win a prize for any game, lottery or competition that you have not entered.
Get in touch if you have any queries about scams or want to know whether you have genuinely won a Pick 3 prize. Head over to the Contact Us page to get assistance.