Attempts to deceive people, especially Internet users, into believing that they have won a lottery prize are now commonplace. Scammers are looking for sensitive personal information such as a your name, address, phone number, date of birth, Social Security number, bank or credit card account number and ultimately – your money in the effort to defraud you.

If you receive a "winning notification" by mail or e-mail that you are a Georgia Lottery or Mega Millions prize winner, it is a fraud. The Georgia Lottery Corporation and Mega Millions do not issue "winning notifications" via mail, e-mail or its web site. Unless you specifically entered a second chance drawing from the Georgia Lottery, you will never be contacted by us informing you that you’ve won a prize. Georgia Lottery prizes are only awarded upon presentation of a winning lottery ticket purchased from an authorized lottery retailer.

If you receive a check with directions to cash and return a portion of the cash, do not respond. The check is not valid and will be returned for insufficient funds. No legitimate lottery will ever send you this type of communication.

Do not be fooled into providing personal information to scammers. Scammers often provide Internet-based claim forms or request personal information over the phone, such as credit card or bank account information.

If you are requested to pay a fee before winnings can be released to you, this is a fraud. Never send money. A legitimate lottery will never require you to pay money for advanced fees to cover expenses associate with the delivery of "winning prizes."

Never redeem a Lottery ticket for someone you do not know. Never pay cash to someone offering to sell a "winning ticket."

Never accept a collect phone call from someone claiming to be a Lottery official.

Only purchase Georgia Lottery tickets from one of over 7,800 official Georgia Lottery retailers located in the state of Georgia.

If you feel you have been a victim of fraud you should: Read the information and tips put out by the Federal Trade Commission about scams. Forward the suspicious e-mail to the Federal Trade Commission’s address for unsolicited commercial e-mail at spam@uce.gov This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Notify the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) of the FBI by filing a complaint on their web site at: www.ic3.gov.