Kentucky Lottery Scam

Tue, 19 Jul 2011 14:07:23 +0000

 

Handing your winning lottery tickets to a clerk in a lottery kiosk could be a great way to lose money. That’s what some unfortunate people in Kentucky learned when they tried to cash Kentucky Lottery tickets and were told that the tickets weren’t winners, though the clerks kept the tickets for themselves and turned them in later.

Sting Operation to Find Fraud

The fraud was uncovered by the state lottery commission, following up on frequent complaints regarding 33 retailers who sell tickets to the Kentucky State Lottery. The lottery commission decided to perform a sting operation to weed out the bad apples.

Some Clerks Don’t Know How to Operate Machines

The state lottery commission created a number of special tickets, including several that were supposedly winners of as much as $8,000 in recent games. These fake winning tickets were shuffled together with real losing tickets and handed over to clerks at the 33 stores in question. In all cases, the clerks were told by the undercover investigators that they weren’t sure if they were winners or not. In three cases, the clerks returned the tickets saying none of them were winners, indicating that some clerks didn’t understand how to use their machines correctly.

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Four Indicted for Stolen Tickets

However, much more troubling for state officials examining the complaints, three retailers kept the tickets and told the fake customers that the tickets weren’t winners. Those tickets were tracked however and when the same clerks tried to turn them in later to claim the prizes, they were caught and indicted by a grand jury. A total of four people now face prison terms of between 10-20 years for their alleged efforts to defraud lottery customers of their winning tickets.

How to Protect Yourself

State lottery officials said they wished to remind the public that these few clerks represented a tiny fraction of the 2,800 locations that sell tickets to the lottery buying public in Kentucky. They suggested however that those who were concerned carefully study their tickets to make sure they are winners before handing them over to clerks and to make sure to sign tickets as well in order to prevent them from being stolen. For their part, the Kentucky State Lottery Commission reports that the sting operations will be ongoing in order to ensure the integrity of the Kentucky Lottery.

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