If you get any out of the blue solicitation or an award letter that you won a lottery, don’t fall it. Officials say a huge red flag of the lottery scam is that you can’t enter a lottery in Hawaii or even buy a ticket via the internet.

Stephen Levins said, “If you get a message that you’ve won the Spanish lottery or the Irish sweepstakes it’s illegal. Anywhere in the United States, it’s illegal because you can’t win a foreign lottery in the United States, so don’t give them your money. If you give them your money, you’re going to lose it.”

Levins says these scammers don’t stop at targeting you via mail. They’ll give you a follow up call to pay taxes to claim your prize. But often times they’ll call you from spoofed international numbers leading to billing you by the minute. 

Levins said “These people who telemarket can be calling from anywhere in the world like Jamaica which is a big source of these kinds of scams. Costa Rica is another place they’re emanating from; the Phililipines is another place.”

Levins says this is a good reminder to never wire money no matter what the situation is.  

Levins said, “What they’ll typically do is ask you to wire the money or to pay it in gift cards, iTunes cards, Google play cards, they do that because it’s very hard to trace.”

If you have a concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call Monday through Friday at 591-0222. You can also send an email to actionline@khon2.com.