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ID theft

All about how it happens and how you can keep it from happening to you.

You've Won The Lottery! … Wait, Maybe Not ...

Online lottery scam tells Florida lottery “winners” to send personal information

It sounds like a dream come true. You receive an e-mail from the Florida lottery informing you that you have won a prize – and all you have to do to collect is to fill out an online form. Sounds good, right?

Except its an elaborate fraud.

The sender, whose e-mail address is disguised to look like a legitimate Florida lottery organization address, instructs lottery “winners” to fill out an online form and submit the information. The form, which asks for personal data such as Social Security numbers, birth dates and other personal data which is then used for identity theft.

Florida Lottery officials advise the public that winners are never asked for their Social Security numbers. “Unfortunately, there are a number of scams out there using the Florida Lottery name as the lure to swindle people out of their savings or personal information, which can result in loss of income or identity theft, as we suspect to be the case with this most recent scam,” said Doug Pitts, Director of Security at the Florida Lottery.

To avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, the Florida Lottery advises players to only buy tickets from authorized retailers, never pay money to collect a prize, and never give out credit card numbers, Social Security numbers or personal information from anyone claiming to be a Florida Lottery representative over the telephone or by e-mail.

The agency also advises players to never accept collect telephone calls from anyone claiming to be a lottery official and never respond to any communication that guarantees a prize. The Florida Lottery does not guarantee prizes. For more information or to report a scam, contact the Florida Lottery’s Customer Service Division at (850) 487-7787 or its Security Division at (850) 487-7730.
Published Mar 31 2010, 10:12 PM by IdentityTheft
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