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Oregon Cautions Residents to be Wary of Jackpot Scams

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The recent jackpot drop that saw one lucky player bag $1.3 billion from Powerball has motivated scammers to ride high on the post-event hype that has seen many people eager to get good news about winning a jackpot themselves.

Fool Me Once Shame on… Me?

A text message circulated last weekend promised Oregon residents to have a chance to win a part of the big jackpot as the person who had won the Powerball was going to hand-pick 10 people and share the jackpot with them.

People were then encouraged to call a phone number to claim their winnings, and many followed through. However, the Oregon Lottery assured that this was a phishing scam, which involves receiving unsolicited messages from random parties, as explained by Oregon Lottery assistant director of security Justin Hedlund.

“Some common warning signs of phishing scams include receiving an unsolicited message with a sense of urgency or a request for personal information. We expect there may be other scams out there trying to leverage the Powerball winner’s story, and it’s a red flag if something seems too good to be true.”

Not much other information has been released by the Oregon Lottery, including the consequences for residents who may have fallen in for the ruse, nor how many people may have been impacted. Carriers have been notified about the scam, however.

The Powerball and Mega Millions jackpot drops are habitually associated with a heightened level of activity in scam messages. Mega Millions similarly warned consumers about ongoing scams that were trying to target unwitting citizens and swindle them out of their own money rather than awarding a jackpot.

Scammers Are Relentless – Because It Works

One of the common tactics used by scammers is to make their victims believe that they have won but would need to pay a release fee before they can claim their prize. These types of scams are very common, cautions Powerball.

“Lotteries will never ask you to pay a fee to collect a Powerball prize. If you are asked to pay a fee to claim a prize, you are likely being scammed, and you should not share any personal or banking information with those entities,” an official statement on its website reads. Yet, constant vigilance is needed to avoid becoming a victim of one of these scammers by accident.

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