TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

A new lottery scam is occurring in the Sunshine State and the Florida Lottery urges citizens to be careful so they don't become victims.

A company using the name of Lotto Claims Associate & Sweepstake Inc. is sending letters out in an effort to obtain personal and financial information.

The letters' letterhead includes the Florida Lottery headquarters' physical address. It tells the recipient that his or her prize winnings are being held up due to a zip code error and processing, insurance and delivery fees must be paid in order to obtain winnings. A phony check is also included to cover costs and incidental expenses.

“The popularity of the Florida Lottery is well known among scam artists. Unfortunately, each year, the Florida Lottery’s name is utilized as a lure to con people out of their savings or personal information, which can result in loss of income or identity theft,” said Doug Pitts, Director of Security at the Florida Lottery. “It is especially important for citizens to remain vigilant and be aware of this type of activity so that they do not become a victim.”

In a legitimate lottery, a winner would never be asked to pay any type of upfront costs to collect a prize. Additionally, the Florida Lottery does not contact players to say they’ve won a prize unless they’ve entered a promotional game or second chance drawing on the official Florida Lottery website.

To report a lottery scam, consumers should contact the Florida Lottery’s Customer Service Division at 850-487-7787.