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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2006
Consumer Alert: Scam Letters Bear Mega Millions Logo

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned consumers that a scam letter bearing the Mega Millions logo is being sent out to individuals in several states via standard mail. This letter notifies supposed winners of their unclaimed "Mega Millions" prize and also contains a counterfeit check.

McKenna said the letter is a scam, designed to obtain personal financial information from unsuspecting players who believe they have won a prize in the multi-state Mega Millions game. The member lotteries of the Mega Millions game, which include Washington’s Lottery, are in no way affiliated with the bogus letters and checks.

According to a warning on the Mega Millions Web site, this is a counterfeit draft money laundering scheme. The check will bounce and will be sent back to a fraudulent organization stamped with your bank’s routing and account information. The sender will then attempt to withdraw funds from your account.

It was unknown Thursday whether any Washington residents had received fraudulent letters bearing the Mega Millions logo.

Consumers who are contacted by anyone purporting to be from the Mega Millions organization, should contact Mega Millions via the organization’s Web site at www.megamillions.com/contact_us.asp.

McKenna said the Attorney General’s Office also continues to receive an increasing number of calls from consumers inquiring about foreign lotteries. To win a legitimate lottery, you must purchase a ticket. It’s also important to know that can’t legally play a foreign lottery in the United States.

The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigate international lottery scams. You can report fraud to the FTC by filing a complaint online at www.ftc.gov or call toll-free 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). Report fraud to the Postal Inspection Service at 1-800-372-8347 or online at http://www.usps.com/postalinspectors/fraud/welcome.htm.

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Media Contact: Kristin Alexander, Public Information Officer, (206) 464-6432

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