Police Caution Residents Against Lottery Scams Reported In The Area
By Space Coast Daily // February 23, 2016
BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – The Palm Bay Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies are advising residents to beware of an ongoing lottery scam that has been reported in the area.
According to the Florida Lottery website, many Florida residents have fallen victim to con artists claiming to be lottery winners who are unable to collect their jackpots.
The suspects offer to “sell” the winning ticket to the victim, or ask the victim to claim the winnings for them.
Once the victim has agreed to help them they ask to hold money or valuable as a “deposit” and once the suspects have the money they disappear.
“Unfortunately this is something we see almost every year,” explained Sergeant Michael Pusatere of the Palm Bay Police Department.
“They are usually working in a team of two to three people and will target the elderly population who are typically more trusting and often fall for these types of scams.”
The Florida Lottery offers these helpful tips to avoid becoming a victim of a scam:
– NEVER redeem a Florida Lottery ticket for someone you don’t know.
– NEVER give your credit card numbers over the phone to anyone promising Florida Lottery cash prizes or memberships.
– NEVER accept a collect phone call from someone claiming to be a Florida Lottery official.
– NEVER respond to a letter or phone call from someone who offers you a guarantee of winning a prize. The Florida Lottery does not guarantee you a prize, only a chance of winning if you buy a legal ticket.
– ONLY participate in a “lottery pool” with people you trust. If you have questions about “lottery clubs”, please call the Florida Lottery Division of Security at (850) 487-7730.
– ONLY buy Florida Lottery tickets from authorized retailers.
If you or someone you know has fallen victim to a lottery scam the Palm Bay Police Department asks that you report the incident to them immediately by calling 321-952-3456.