Based off of a 2017 report, lottery and sweepstakes scams conned 500,000 Americans and Canadians out of $117 million -- and that was the amount that was reported. The Better Business Bureau received 2,820 reports from its scam tracker. The common locations reported were Jamaica, Costa Rica and Nigeria. 

In Alaska, 30 scams were reported with an estimated $850 lost. In particular, one Alaskan lost $580 from a fake Publisher's Clearing House scam. That person was told to pay the taxes and fees associated with the prize to claim it. Most of the victims were between the ages of 65-74.

Michelle Tabler with Alaska's BBB says there are few key things to keep in mind to avoid getting conned out of your hard-earned cash. True lotteries or sweepstakes don't ask for money at all -- if they do, it's likely to be a scam. Another way to check is to call the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, at (444) 361-7962.

To report a scam, use BBB's Scam Tracker. For more information on what scams are out there, check out the BBB website.