A ballooning Mega Millions jackpot has everyone excited – including scammers.
Hoax e-mails appearing to come from the official Mega Millions franchise but are actually part of a scheme to obtain personal and financial information have been sent to some Florida residents, according to a news release.
According to the Florida Lottery, the fraudulent e-mail features the Mega Millions logo in the letterhead and states the recipient may have won a $1 million prize. The e-mail goes on to say the recipient was among a group of randomly selected people to participate in a Mega Millions drawing, and proceeds to ask the recipient for general information about themselves.
Mega Millions says lottery scams often target older people and have been known to wipe out victims’ retirement savings. The company also said to be cautious if the e-mail in question tells you to keep your “win” confidential. According to the news release, the most recent scam e-mail does just that, telling the recipient not to share the information with others in order to avoid impersonation and a double claim.
The Florida Lottery warns residents not to respond to these e-mails and stresses that if you have not purchased a Mega Millions ticket, you are not eligible for a monetary prize.
If you believe you’ve responded to a lottery scam, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission here.
The Mega Millions jackpot swelled to $970 million Thursday ahead of Friday’s drawing.