OKLAHOMA CITY - You've heard it before. If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
This time, it's a lottery scam targeting folks all over the country on the internet, and in their mailboxes.
A scam post is making the rounds on Facebook, and a letter is circulating which tells the recipient they have won millions. The swindlers have state lotteries all over the country sounding the alarm, including here in Oklahoma.
"If these folks get their hooks into you, they can clean you out", said Rollo Redburn, the Executive Director of the Oklahoma State Lottery. "There's no legitimate lottery in this country that will ever contact you if you've won a prize. Think about it. If you buy a lottery ticket, and it wins, we don't know who you are, where you are, we don't know anything about you."
The fake lottery posts on Facebook, and the letter going around, seem legitimate by using the names of agencies like the Multi-State Lottery Commission, Mega Millions, or Publisher's Clearing House. T
here are noticeable errors though that should send up a red flag.
Misspelled words like "Powerbool", and "Pawerball," should be a dead-giveaway that something is amiss.
Redburn also points out that you would have to actually purchase a ticket, or enter a drawing to win a real lottery.
"If you haven't come to us or some other lottery and said, 'I bought this ticket,' we're not going to be contacting you."
If you do contact the scammers, that's where they get you.
"They're going to tell you, 'You need to send us some money up front to help us pay for taxes, or delivery or some kind of charges."
Redburn says they will keep coming back for more, leaving you empty handed, often with devastating consequences.
"There has been stories about people who've had their savings, their life savings taken, their retirement messed up because they get caught up into one of these things that is absolutely too good to be true, and they believe it."
If you see a suspicious lottery post on Facebook, or receive a letter, you can contact the Oklahoma Lottery Commission to verify the source.
If you believe you have been targeted by scammers, you should contact the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office at (405)521-3921 or the Federal Trade Comission at (877)382-4357.