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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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Consumer Protection

Consumer Protection

The Lottery is very concerned about the different types of fraud committed against our players and the general public. Security & Law Enforcement believes the best method for preventing fraud is through education and consumer protection information. The Lottery encourages consumers to visit the following links to learn more about consumer protection.

Click here to watch public service announcements » 

Click here to learn more about Security & Law Enforcement »

Click here to help us solve a crime »

Click here to learn how to avoid Lottery Scams »

Consumer Protection FAQs

Safeguard yourself with knowledge.

I have a winning Lottery ticket over $599, what do I do now?

Any ticket over $599 cannot be redeemed at a Lottery retailer and must be mailed into the Lottery along with a claim form. It is recommended that you use certified mail when mailing your claim form and ticket to guarantee delivery. You can obtain a Winner Claim Form from any Lottery retailer or download from this site.

Get Winner Claim Form and learn how to claim your prize »

I received a letter that appears to be fraudulent, what should I do?

Many players have received letters (or emails) using the California Lottery, SuperLotto Plus or Mega Millions name and logo, claiming they have won a lottery prize. THIS IS A SCAM! They are attempting to gain access to your personal information, such as Social Security Number or bank account numbers and attempting to steal your money.

If you receive a letter claiming that you have won a lottery prize and the letter asks you to contact a listed representative to find out how to claim your winnings, please do not respond to the letter. Instead, please contact our Security & Law Enforcement toll-free at 1-800-LOTTERY (800-568-8379) as soon as possible. A Lottery representative will ask you for any names, company name, phone numbers and addresses listed on the letter. The Lottery tracks this information and works in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies to help identify these criminals.

What can I do if I want to file a complaint about a Lottery retailer?

Contact the California Lottery’s Security & Law Enforcement toll-free at 1-800-LOTTERY (800-568-8379) and provide staff with the following information:

  • Name of retailer, retailer ID number, and/or address of retailer.
  • Date/Time of incident
  • Description of incident

Staff will open a security incident report and depending upon the situation, notify other appropriate Lottery staff to take further action.

What can I do if my ticket is lost or stolen?

If you lose a draw game ticket, contact our Security & Law Enforcement toll-free at 1-800-LOTTERY (800-568-8379) as soon after the occurrence as possible. Remember, the sooner you report your ticket lost or stolen, the better staff will be able to assist you. Please be able to provide as much detail about your ticket as possible including:

  • The retailer you purchased and/or redeemed your ticket at (name, retailer ID number, and/or address)
  • The date and time you purchased/redeemed your ticket
  • The date/time your ticket was lost/stolen (if known)
  • The amount of your ticket (if known)

If your ticket information can be located and it is determined that your ticket is a winner, staff will place your ticket on a security hold and mail you the appropriate paperwork.

Unfortunately, lost Scratchers tickets cannot be relocated.

What can I do to make sure I was paid correctly for my Lottery ticket?

If you ever feel you were not paid correctly for your Lottery ticket(s), you can contact our Security & Law Enforcement toll-free at 1-800-LOTTERY (800-568-8379) and speak to a representative. Please be able to provide the following information:

  • The retailer you redeemed your ticket(s) at (name, retailer ID number, and/or address)
  • The date and time of incident
  • Ticket information
  • The amount you were paid for your ticket(s)