Identifying Lottery Scams
If you've received an email, a letter or phone call that claims to be from Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) or any other organization, and it states that your name or email address was selected and you've won a lottery prize and asks you to pay to receive your prize, please disregard it.
There are several scams going on every day that attempt to use the names and trademarks of legitimate organizations - including WCLC - to deceive unsuspecting victims. These emails, letters or phone calls will often indicate that you can claim a prize if you send money to cover "taxes" or "service charges".
WCLC sells lottery tickets through authorized lottery retailers, and sells Subscriptions for extended periods through our Play By Subscription service. Residents of Manitoba can also purchase LOTTO 6/49, LOTTO MAX, WESTERN MAX, WESTERN 649 and EXTRA via PlayNow.com. But you’ll never be asked to pay money to claim a legitimate lottery prize.
Please note: Subscription and PlayNow.com purchasers may receive notifications of wins (by telephone or mail for large wins on a Subscription, or by email for wins associated with PlayNow.com). You must already be registered with either Subscription or PlayNow to win.
If you are a Manitoba PlayNow.com player, you can log in to your PlayNow account or contact PlayNow Customer Support to verify the win. If you’re a Subscriber, you can call WCLC Subscription Services at 1-800-665-3313.
Here are some tips to help you identify Lottery Scams. It's a scam if...
- You didn't purchase a ticket or enter a contest in the Prairie Provinces and Territories.
- If you didn't purchase a ticket or enter a contest within our region, you would not be entitled to a prize.
- You can only win a prize on our games if you've purchased a ticket at a lottery retailer, by Subscription, or in Manitoba at PlayNow.com. WCLC does not sell our products or solicit sales outside of our jurisdiction of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon, nor do we authorize anyone to do so on our behalf.
- You are informed that you've won a lottery prize from another country or province, even though you haven’t purchased a ticket.
- We don't award prizes by drawing names or email addresses from a list. No legitimate lottery operates in this way.
- You are asked to pay taxes or fees to claim a prize.
- Do not, under any circumstances, send money or personal or financial information to someone making such a request of you.
- Lottery prizes in Canada are not taxable, and no taxes or fees of any kind have to be paid to Canadian authorities on legitimate lottery winnings in Canada.
- You are provided with a cheque from a third-party organization to assist with paying taxes or fees.
- No payment or fees are required to claim lottery prizes in Canada.
- Do not cash such cheques as they are likely forgeries and will bounce. If you choose to attempt to cash the cheque, exercise extreme caution and confirm with your bank that there will be no financial or legal repercussions or costs if it doesn't clear.
- You are instructed to not tell anyone about your "win" or else you will be unable to claim your prize.
- If you had won a real lottery prize, sharing the news about your win with family, friends and others would not disqualify you from being entitled to a prize.
Important: If you are concerned that you have been the victim of a lottery scam, contact your local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501), an anti-fraud task force comprising members of several Canadian police organizations, including the RCMP.
Q: What should I do if I am contacted by someone who indicates I've won a lottery prize from WCLC even though I haven't purchased a ticket?
A: Simply disregard the request - throw the letter away, delete the email or hang up the telephone. If you want to check with WCLC to confirm if it was from us, you can contact us by:
- Phone: 1-800-665-3313 (Canada only) or 204-942-8217 (outside of Canada);
Western Canada Lottery Corporation
Main Floor, 125 Garry Street
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4J1
- Email: Click here
To verify a win from PlayNow.com:
- Phone: 1-877-706-6789
Q: What if I've already sent money to a fraudulent lottery organization?
A: If you have sent money or would like to speak to someone regarding a solicitation, we advise you to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. They can be reached at 1-888-495-8501 (within Canada and the United States) or (705) 495-8501 (overseas). Their phone lines can be busy; however, you can leave a message, and they will return your call. You may also wish to contact your local authorities.