INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 17, 2015) — A 64-year-old woman was convinced she won millions in the Hoosier Lottery only to realize she’d been scammed out of thousands of dollars.
Earlier this summer, the Indianapolis woman got phone call telling her she’d won Mega Millions, but in order to collect her prize of $9.2 million, she needed to pay $6,500 in taxes.
During the next month, the victim sent the con artists multiple money orders totaling more than $7,000.
“The Hoosier lottery does not reach out to potential winners, because we don’t know where they are,” said Hoosier Lottery spokesperson Courtney Arango.
Officials with the Hoosier Lottery and the state Attorney General’s office confirm this scam is one of the most common lottery scams.
Their advice is to remember you will never be asked to pay money ahead of time to claim a lottery prize.
“Just know that you’ll never be asked to provide any money upfront, we just will not do that,” said Arango.
Arango also points out large lottery prizes of more than $50,000 always have to be confirmed and collected at Hoosier Lottery headquarters.
The scam artists in this case used the names Kevin Watson and Michael Baxter and tried to convince the victim to meet up at a bank to set up an account for her winnings.
That’s when the victim finally contacted police.
The victim has kept her receipts, but so far no arrests have been made.
“When people see these scams I just encourage them to try and stay informed,” said Arango. “We always urge anyone who’s been a victim of scam to contact Attorney General’s office. That’s who we work with.”
The victim hopes that others will learn from her experience.