TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – If you get a call on the phone from someone saying you just won big money in a sweepstakes you don’t remember entering, hang up.

State Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said it’s a scam and is being run by a company calling itself “National Sweepstakes.”   The company has been contacting people claiming that they must make payments to the Internal Revenue Service in order to collect a supposed $1 million lottery prize.

One elderly woman in Palm Beach County who was contacted wrote checks totaling $9,500 to an address in Washington. Then an insurance employee who learned of the situation contacted the state Division of Consumer Services. State officials contacted the woman and helped her secure her remaining savings.

Atwater says legitimate lotteries do not ask for money up front to collect winnings.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


  1. Melinda says:

    I just posted here to share a warning against this lottery scammers.

    1. Scammers claim you won a contest you don’t remember joining.
    2. Scammers ask you to pay a fee before you get your prize and wire the money to unusual locations.
    3. Scammers use free email accounts such as Yahoo and Hotmail.

    If you get a call which resembles any of the three, then that’s most like a scam. Hang up, get the phone number and report it to Callercenter.com to raise a warning. Alert the authorities as well.

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