California Lottery

Lotto Fever: Beware of Scammers as Mega Millions Jackpot Soars

Multi-state jackpot climbs to an estimated $1 billion for Friday's draw

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As fervor builds in the multi-state Mega Millions lottery game, with hundreds of millions up for grabs for jackpot winning tickets, the California Lottery is warning the public to be wary of scams.

Scammers may try to use fraudulent accounts, fake phone calls, emails, texts and even social media messaging to try to take advantage of lottery players and even those not participating, lottery officials said.

The California Lottery says it does not sell tickets online, by phone or via text messages. The agency does not call players to inform them that they won a prize, nor will a player be asked to pay fees or taxes up front to claim winnings.

Scammers might even target people who aren't buying tickets, lottery officials said, but non-players cannot win a lottery prize, the agency says. If a person is contacted by a purported "lottery" representative informing that person of their winnings, but that person never purchased a ticket, it is a scam, the lottery says.

Friday night's Mega Millions jackpot was up to an estimated $1 billion.

For questions or more information about the games or claiming prizes, call 1-800-LOTTERY or download the California Lottery mobile app.

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