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Montana Department of Justice warns of new twist on old lottery scam


Last updated 8/12/2020 at 10:29am

Press release

Officials at the Montana Department of Justice announced today that Montanans, especially senior citizens, should be aware of a new tactic being used in the old lottery scam.

The new twist works like this:  A scammer calls someone, claiming to be from the “Montana State Gaming Commission.” The scammer says if they pay $600, you’ll have a chance to win $1 million.

“Legitimate lotteries never require people to send money to claim a prize or to have a chance at winning,” Attorney General Tim Fox said. “Because older persons are especially vulnerable due to physical and mental decline, social isolation, and their tendency to trust others, the most effective thing we can do to combat this scam is public education.  Remind your parents, grandparents, and elderly friends about the importance of staying vigilant for lottery scams and other rip-offs that can happen if they engage with these callers.”

Another red flag? The “Montana State Gaming Commission” doesn’t exist.  The Gambling Control Division at the Montana Department of Justice is responsible for state gaming regulation.

“Real lotteries never contact the winner, or other players, because they don’t know who these people are,” Gambling Control Division Administrator Angela Nunn said. “So, keep in mind two things:  If you receive a call claiming to be from the Montana State Gaming Commission, it’s a scam; if you’re asked to send money in relation to lotteries, it’s a scam.”

Nunn also advised Montanans questioning the validity of a contact from the Gambling Control Division to call her office at (406)-444-1971 or email [email protected] to confirm.

For more information on lottery scams, people can visit the Montana Lottery’s website at https://www.montanalottery.com/en/view/fraud-scam-alerts, or Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection’s information at https://dojmt.gov/consumer/lottery-scam . If people or their family members are the victims of a scam, they should contact local law enforcement. People may also report scams to Office of Consumer Protection by calling 1-800-481-6896 (toll-free) or 406-444-4500, or by emailing [email protected]

For updates on this and other issues, people can follow DOJ’s Gambling Control Division and OCP on Facebook.


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