Scams operate worldwide to convince people to spend money on illegal or fake lotteries and sweepstakes. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And, if you're suspicious, feel free to contact us.
Scams exist in many forms, but one of the most common is to tell you you've already won or have a good chance to win a prize. They ask you to pay money or provide personal information, like a credit card number or bank account number, to claim your winnings. Some scams even illegally use real game names and logos of legitimate lotteries.
Scammers may also approach you in person, claiming to have a winning ticket, but tell you they can't claim the prize themselves. These criminals will ask you to purchase their ticket or provide a "deposit" to claim the prize for them. But, they'll disappear with your money.
Always remember that legitimate lotteries require you to purchase a ticket for a chance to win a prize.
The South Dakota Lottery will never...
- Require a winner to pay money upfront to claim a prize.
- Require personal information such as social security numbers or bank account numbers from winners over the phone, by email or online. A prize of $101 or more must be claimed at a South Dakota Lottery office using an official claim form.
- Require a short response time to cash or claim a winning ticket. Winning lotto tickets can be claimed up to 180 days following the drawing. Winning scratch tickets can be claimed up to 180 days following the game's end.
- Enter someone into a drawing, promotion or anything else without their knowledge.
- Require you to be a United States citizen to claim a South Dakota Lottery prize.
- Sign the back of your ticket immediately after buying it.
- Check your own ticket to determine if it is a winner.
- Watch the flat screen monitor while your tickets are being validated. Each of your wins will be displayed.
- Check your lotto ticket at the time of purchase to make sure it's the game, number selections and drawing(s) you want to enter.
- Check your scratch ticket at the time of purchase to make sure the latex hasn't already been scratched anywhere. Don't accept the ticket if it has been scratched and contact the Lottery immediately.
- Make sure you receive a "trail" ticket from the retailer if you're cashing a multiple-draw lotto ticket that has draws remaining. There is no charge to obtain a "trail" ticket.
- Ask the retailer to see the pay ticket printed by the terminal. Pay tickets are printed for both lotto and scratch ticket winning tickets.
- Ask for the ticket back if you disagree with the retailer about the validation, and submit your claim directly to the Lottery. If the retailer refuses to return the ticket, contact the Lottery immediately.
- Cash or claim a lottery ticket for someone you don't know.
- Pay money to collect a lottery prize.
- Give your credit card numbers, bank account numbers, or other personal information to anyone trying to sell you a lottery ticket, membership in a lottery pool, or promising a prize.
- Accept a collect phone call from someone claiming to be a lottery official.
- Respond to letters, emails or phone calls claiming that you've won a prize in a foreign lottery but must first pay taxes to collect the prize. Playing legitimate foreign lotteries by mail, phone, email or on the Internet is illegal.
- Respond to letters, emails or phone calls offering you a guaranteed prize if you play the lottery. The South Dakota Lottery does not guarantee you a prize, only a chance of winning one.
- Respond to "urgent" solicitations that require a quick decision.
- Buy lottery tickets from unauthorized South Dakota Lottery retailers.
LET US KNOW
Contact us for clarification if you have any questions about how to play or how to claim a prize.
Report suspected scams to the S.D. Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit at 1-800-300-1986, or through their contact form.