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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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Player Resources

Security & Law Enforcement receives inquiries from players concerning lost Lottery tickets, fraud, theft, administrative complaints or the report of suspected criminal activity. Our staff is extremely experienced and trained in all facets to best serve each caller, depending on their concern.

We take complaints seriously and investigate each substantiated allegation in depth. All appropriate methods and resources will be extended to every caller and player. Our databases include extensive institutional information, which assists with the preliminary investigation and is evaluated by experienced analysts. Investigative staff has many years of law enforcement experience and may be called to follow up on players’ concerns. If a player believes they have lost a Lottery ticket, been a victim of Lottery fraud, or has a complaint or concern, they should call toll-free 1-800-LOTTERY (800-568-8379). We have staff available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Retailer Resources

Security & Law Enforcement provides retailer assistance to our 22,000 retailers. When any Lottery retailer is the victim of a theft, burglary, robbery, or embezzlement – their first duty should be to notify the local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction. Immediately afterward, the retailer should notify the Security & Law Enforcement Division via our toll-free number 1-800-LOTTERY (800-568-8379). This number is staffed 24/7 and 365 days a year.

Security & Law Enforcement assigns an investigator to investigate the crime and assist the local law enforcement agency with any investigative leads. After an exhaustive investigation is conducted and suspects are identified, our investigators work with local district attorneys to file criminal complaints within the judicial system.

Retailers are reminded, whenever there is a theft of any Lottery products or equipment, to immediately contact 1-800-LOTTERY.

Click here to learn more about becoming a California Lottery Retailer »

Click here to see the Retailer Security Resource Guide » 

Law Enforcement Resources

Security & Law Enforcement has investigative resources throughout the state. For emergency assistance, law enforcement can contact Security/Law Enforcement at (916) 822-8000 or (916) 822-8282 – both numbers are staffed 24/7, 365 days a year.

Non-law enforcement callers will be referred to the toll-free 1-800-LOTTERY number.

Security & Law Enforcement provides our local, state and federal law enforcement partners with a wide variety of expertise and investigative assistance.

Lottery investigators have the unique ability and assets to track and monitor all Lottery transactions and tickets collected as evidence. With these unique resources, Lottery investigators can provide tremendous investigative leads and internal database information to our law enforcement partners.

Lottery investigators can also provide documentation and evidence necessary for successful prosecution of criminals who steal Lottery products. Lottery investigators have the ability to obtain evidence critical to successful criminal prosecutions, which can include video evidence often difficult to refute and therefore extremely helpful in court. Lottery investigators also provide expert testimony in criminal cases which involve Lottery products or services.

With information obtained during criminal investigations, Lottery investigators can assist law enforcement agencies by writing search warrants and arrest warrants, conducting probation and parole searches, and assisting with surveillance operations on criminals who target the Lottery.

Other Resources

Organizations dedicated to stopping fraud.

Fraud affects thousands of Californians annually. And though each scam is different, they all have the common thread of “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”

Here are a few resources providing more information on scams and frauds:

To report a fraud or a scam, please visit the following links: