Printing error directs some NJ Lottery players to malicious website
Residents who play the New Jersey Lottery may have been directed to a website that installed malware on their computer or mobile device, Kane In Your Corner has learned.
The lottery, alerted to the issue by Kane In Your Corner, says a state vendor inadvertently programmed store registers to print the wrong web address on tickets. She says lottery staffers are now trying to identity the people who created a look-alike website at that URL.
Bill Bauer of Edison says he was surprised by what happened after he bought a Pick-3 ticket at a local store and tried to play "Collect 'N Win,” a promotion that's been running for about three weeks.
After going to the website on the bottom of his ticket, Bauer says, "A message came up on the screen, saying 'Your computer has been hacked.’" A former software engineer, Bauer says he instantly recognized it for what it was: a malicious website.
Kane In Your Corner verified Bauer's complaint by visiting the website on a computer loaded with the latest anti-virus software. Not only did the site trigger an explosion of suspicious pop-ups, it also attempted to load malicious code automatically. That means visitors can be infected without clicking on anything.
Lottery spokesperson Missy Gillespie confirms the web address shown on the tickets was incorrect. She says the correct website for the game, as shown on all other advertising, is njcollectandwin.com. On the tickets themselves, the word "and" in the web address was replaced with the letter "n". She says the typo is now fixed.
In an email to Kane In Your Corner, Gillespie says, “In the past three weeks, we have received 700,000 entries. Unfortunately, the Lottery had not received any calls or emails regarding this problem until your notification."
One possible reason for that: Kane In Your Corner found the fake website was programmed to eventually forward visitors to the correct one, meaning that unless they were made suspicious by the pop-ups, visitors might not even know they were going to the wrong place.
The Lottery says anyone with questions or concerns is encouraged to call 800-222-0996 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.