Steps to Avoid Scams
If it's too good to be true, it probably is. You cannot win if you don't play. Do
not get played by con artists! Be aware of the scams and avoid them.
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.
This is the one and 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.
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 $1,000 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
"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