The Vermont Lottery Commission is committed to ensuring that all aspects of our games meet or exceed industry standards for quality, fairness, and integrity. In addition, we strive to ensure that all aspects of our organization, including our agent network, function in an honest and ethical manner. If you know of, or suspect, any impropriety please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (802) 479-5686 or 1-800-322-8800 (in Vermont)
Lottery Scams - Be Alert!
The Vermont Lottery Commission wants to provide customers with the tools necessary to ensure the highest level of integrity and security continues among our agents and customers. Vermont Lottery players can protect themselves from scams through some easy tips and advice. Some of the common scams found nationwide are listed below:
Common Lottery Scam Scenarios:
- A person claims he/she is unable to redeem a winning ticket because he/she is in the country illegally, and offers to sell you the “winning”ticket. A second person – posing as a stranger to the first person – walked by, and “confirms” that the ticket is “valid”.
- A person says the lottery is requiring cash up-front to redeem a winning ticket and offers to split the prize with you in exchange for “good faith”money.
- You receive an e-mail claiming to be from “Vermont Lottery Headquarters” saying you have won a prize and need to pay a “processing” fee. You may be asked for bank account information and/or a social security number.
- You receive a letter with a foreign postmark and official-looking documents claiming you are one of the winners of a foreign lottery. The letter states you must send the bank account information and/or pay a processing fee to claim a prize.
Tips to Protect Yourself:
- ALWAYS sign the back of your tickets. This prevents another individual from cashing your ticket if it becomes lost or stolen. Lottery tickets are bearer’s instruments, meaning the person who signs the back of the ticket owns the ticket. If you have a winning ticket, and you don’t sign your ticket, ANYONE can sign your ticket, claim your ticket and receive payment.
- DO NOT alter a signature on any Lottey ticket. Any alterations may invalidate all claims associated with the ticket. If you have questions please contact Lottery Security.
- For winning tickets, ask to see the receipt printed from the terminal. Looking at this receipt will tell you for sure if you are a winner and confirm the amount of your winnings. The agent must keep the cash receipt and ticket for winning tickets cashed at their location. Ask for the cash receipt for all non-winning tickets. The receipt will allow you to double check that your ticket is a non-winner.
- Watch your transaction on the customer transaction display screen mounted near the counter. This transaction screen will tell you details about your transaction. Each agent should have this transaction screen in plain view.
- Listen for the terminal tones. When you are a winner, for prizes up to $500 it will say “Winner! Winner!” For prizes $500 & up it will say “Winner! Winner! Winner! Winner! Claim at Lottery.”
- If you suspect an agent is not giving you your proper prize, please notify Lottery Security immediately and we can help you resolve the issue.
- If you purchase an Instant Scratch Game, prior to playing the game, check the surface of the ticket to make sure the latex has not been previously scratched anywhere on the ticket. If the ticket appears to have been tampered with, do not play the ticket and contact Lottery Security immediately.
- NEVER agree to help a stranger cash a lottery ticket.
- Only purchase lottery tickets from authorized Lottery agents. If you are approached by an individual offering a winning ticket for cash, refuse the offer.
- Vermont Lottery does not allow agents to charge a commission or fee for paying prizes. If you are charged a commission or fee, please contact Lottery Security immediately.
- NEVER claim a prize for any lottery ticket for someone you don’t know. If you are approached by a stranger asking for help cashing a ticket, contact Lottery Security immediately.
- NEVER respond to a phone call or e-mail from someone who offers you a guaranteed prize. You are not guaranteed a prize by the Lottery, only a chance to win if you purchase a valid ticket.
- Be suspicious of telephone calls from someone who claims to be from the Lottery. If you are in doubt, obtain the name of the individual and contact the Lottery for confirmation at (802) 479-5686 or 1-800-322-8800 (in Vermont).
- Unless you enter a second chance drawing or “promotional game” sponsored by the Lottery, you will never be contacted by us informing you that you have won. If you receive a “winner” notice for a drawing you never entered or you are asked to send money to any person in order to claim your “prize,” this is likely a scam.
Lottery Fraud Protection
Federal Trade Commission - Cross Border Fraud: More and more, scammers are reaching across national borders to commit their crimes. Cross-border fraud where false lottery prizes are used as lures has become one of the most serious problems within the lottery industry. With the technology available today, cross-border lottery scams are becoming more common than ever. To find out more about the schemes scammers use to steal large amounts of money and how you can avoid being a victim, please visit their web site or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
Should I sign my ticket before claiming my prize at a lottery agent?
Until a winning Lottery Ticket is signed, it is considered a "bearer instrument" and anyone who possesses the ticket is the lawful owner. Once signed, the ticket is the property of the signer. The Lottery will not validate tickets that are not signed.
Why should I sign my ticket?
VLC requires that you write or print your name on your lottery ticket before an agent can validate it. This is for your own protection. Signing the ticket is an easy way to identify it as yours. And that makes it difficult for someone else to claim your prize if your ticket is a winner. It also helps protect you if you were ever to lose it. Agents cannot validate tickets that are not signed.
What happens if I lose my winning lottery ticket?
The Vermont Lottery is not responsible for lost or stolen tickets and cannot pay a prize without a valid winning ticket. As a bearer instrument, a lottery ticket claim can be filed by anyone in possession of the ticket. That's why, if you win, it's important to protect yourself by signing your name and filling out all the information on the back of your winning ticket. If you choose to mail your winning lottery ticket to Vermont Lottery Headquarters for payment, you should consider using a shipping method that tracks the package, especially for prizes of higher value.
What is the proper procedure for agents to follow when validating lottery tickets?
All Vermont Lottery agents are required to pay prizes of up to $100, but may pay up to $499. When you present a ticket for validation, all agents must follow these simple steps:
- Check to make sure the ticket(s) are signed before validating;
- If ticket(s) are not signed, ask the claimant to sign them to include their full name and address on the back of the ticket;
- Verify the identity of the claimant by asking for a valid photo identification -- such as a drivers licenses or passport id;
- Verify the ticket has not been altered;
- Verify the ticket is a valid winning ticket;
- Pay the claimant;
- Ensure the Lottery terminal customer transaction display screen is visible to the customer at all times.
Vermont Lottery Commission
ATTN: Director of Security
1311 US Route 302, Suite 100
Barre, Vermont 05641-2399
Phone: (802) 479-5686
Toll Free: 1-800-322-8800 (in Vermont)