MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J. - Mercer County is warning its residents to beware of a scam in which telephone callers claiming to represent the New Jersey Lottery inform people that they have won a large jackpot, which they can claim by depositing a “processing fee.”

The scammers then ask for bank account numbers, credit card numbers and other personal information in order to process the “fee” for the fake lottery winnings.

Mercer County’s Division of Consumer Affairs is joining the state Division of Consumer Affairs and the New Jersey Lottery to remind residents that the Lottery never requires winners to provide personal information over the phone or to pay a fee to collect winnings.

“This is yet another example of how thieves are trying to prey on people in this economy,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “Make sure to use common sense and don’t give out any personal information over the phone.”

If New Jersey residents believe they may have been victims of a hoax, they are urged to contact the Lottery’s Security Office at (609) 599-6100; the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs at (800) 242-5846; or the Mercer County Division of Consumer Affairs at (609) 989-6671.

The New Jersey Lottery and the Division of Consumer Affairs provide these tips to help players, retailers and the general public protect themselves against scams:
  • Never provide your credit card number or funds in the form of cash, money order or check to anyone promising lottery winnings.
  • If approached by someone promising you lottery winnings or offering a winning lottery ticket for cash, immediately call the New Jersey Lottery Security Office or New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.
  • Only buy lottery tickets from one of the 6,100 authorized New Jersey Lottery retailers. To find the closest agent location, call (609) 599-5800.
  • Monitor the Lottery’s website (www.njlottery.net) and retailer locations for the most current New Jersey Lottery promotions, winning numbers and instant tickets.
  • Never redeem a Lottery ticket for someone other than yourself.