They thought they’d hit the NC lottery jackpot.
Several residents across the state have reported buying scratch-off tickets that showed they’d won a cash prize.
The tickets were real, non-winning tickets, but were altered to appear to have matching numbers that won a prize, state lottery officials warned on Friday.
Duped buyers purchased the tickets “at a discount,” the NC Education Lottery said in a news release. The buyers learned they’d won nothing when they went to claim their cash prizes, officials said.
Four ticket buyers have reported being scammed so far.
“You can easily avoid this scam by only buying an unscratched lottery ticket from an authorized lottery retailer,” lottery Executive Director Mark Michalko said in the news release.
“Your first tip that someone is trying to scam you is when they offer to sell their prize-winning ticket at a discount with some made-up story about why they can’t claim the prize they won,” Michalko said.