Lottery Scams

Lottery Scams

Who’s the target?

Mostly older adults.

How does it happen?

You receive an unsolicited phone call, email, letter, or direct message claiming that you have won a contest or lottery. You might not remember entering this drawing, but the scammer will ensure you that you were automatically entered, or someone else entered on your behalf. They may claim to be from a foreign lottery, or even a trusted organization like the Publishers Clearing House. The scammer will tell you that in order to receive the prize, you first need to pay. If you question or delay the payment, they will increase the pressure and threaten you with legal or financial consequences. Once you send them the funds, they can disappear altogether, or continue to request more fees until you run out of money.

Red flags:

  • They’re telling you that you need to pay to get your prize, often in the form of wire, gift cards, or cryptocurrency
  • They say they’re from a government organization, or an overseas lottery
  • They’re requesting your financial information like your credit card or bank account details

How can we stay safe?

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it often isn’t true
  • Remember that legitimate prizes are free, and do not require payment upfront
  • Never send payment in gift cards, cryptocurrency, or wire to anyone you don’t know, even if they claim to be a legitimate organization

If you think you have been scammed:

  • Contact your financial institutions as soon as possible
  • If you’ve given the scammer any of your account passwords or PINs, change them immediately
  • File a report on
  • Contact the Social Security Fraud Hotline (if applicable)

BHCCU Resources

Blackhawk Community Credit Union will never contact you and ask you for your username, password, secure access code, IP address, or full account number. If you receive such a message via call, text, or email, please do not respond. You can always call us directly to confirm: 800.779.5555.

Angie Hoium
BHCCU Fraud & BSA Officer
to learn about upcoming events
hosted by Angie. These seminars
feature an honest conversation
about fraud and ways to keep
yourself safe.

Visit our Personal Data Protection page to learn more ways to stay protected!