Iowa Lottery seeing increase in calls about scams

CLIVE — Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer says the number of questions they’ve been getting about scams has continued to increase.

“People who got a contact and thought to themselves ‘this sounds really strange this makes me suspicious’, so good on them they call the Iowa Lottery to check about it. They say ‘this just doesn’t seem right,’ and in fact it’s not right,” Neubauer says.

She says those calls are scammers not connected to the Iowa Lottery, and are only looking to steal. “Trying to you know, get them to maybe open a bank account and put some money in there because there’s a quote unquote processing fee that has to be paid before they would be able to be awarded a fictitious big lottery prize,” she says. “So we’re just we’re just reminding people scam attempts of all types are at record highs right now.”

Neubauer says be aware that these types of scams are happening and don’t become a victim. “You need to be careful you need to protect yourself and especially protect your personally identifiable information and any financial information,” Neubauer says. “Do not share that online. You know, these folks are just trying to get in with you and trying to figure out a way that they can trick you out of giving the money and you will never see that money again. If you end up paying that’s that’s the really sad part.”

She says the Iowa Lottery does not seek out winners. “You’re a lottery winner you contact the lottery to say you have the winning ticket not the other way around. So, we just can’t remind people enough Be careful if you’re asked to pay any money upfront it is definitely a scam,” she says. 

There are resources where you can learn more about these scams. “The U-S Federal Trade Commission has a great consumer advice page online that you can go to it talks a lot about fake prizes sweepstakes and lotteries. And then here in Iowa, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office has a great Consumer Protection Division, that if you have questions you are you’re always welcome to reach out to them,” Neubauer says. 

Neubauer says make a call to those organizations before you do anything that might end up costing you money.