TRENTON – The New Jersey Lottery announced earlier this week that it is working with local and state enforcement agencies following reports of alleged ‘winning’ tickets that have cropped up throughout the state in recent weeks.
Duane Daniels, head of security for the New Jersey Lottery, explained the workings of the scam: “The alleged scammers tell potential victims that they can’t cash in a winning lottery ticket due to their immigration status. They promise their victims a share of the prize if the victim agrees to cash in the ticket, and ask for a ‘good faith’ deposit from the victim, citing their desire to not see the victim ‘run off’ with the ticket and try to cheat the scammers out of their share of the winnings. Once that ‘good faith’ deposit is in the hands of the scammers, it is too late—they leave with the money and leave the victim behind with nothing.”
“At this time of year, people need to be especially vigilant,” said Daniels, “What makes this particular scam especially despicable is that it appears to be targeting members of a particular community and preying upon their good nature. Please—at this time of the year or any other—never engage in this type of activity. What the scammer is inviting you to do is, in essence, to help him commit fraud. Even if they held a legitimate winning ticket—which in these cases, it appears the scammers do not—the person asking you to help them cash in their ticket is asking your help in committing a crime.”
Daniels went on to state that the New Jersey Lottery’s reputation for integrity is paramount, and that the agency’s Security Unit continually works with local and State Police officials to shut down scams of this nature. To this end, Daniels is asking the public to remember that if it sounds too good to be true—especially if someone is offering you a ‘winning’ ticket for a ‘good faith’ deposit—it is most likely that someone is trying to run a scam on you.
“Whether you experience this scam tomorrow or have experienced it recently, we want to hear from you,” concluded Daniels, “If you have been contacted by these scam artists—or if they contact you in the future—please call our Security Unit as soon as possible at 1-609-599-6100.”
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