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  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , lottery scam, ,   

    Scammers pose as Powerball winner 

    By Greg Collier

    We all have dreams of what we would do if we won a multi-million dollar lottery like Powerball. We even think of how generous we would be if we won. A lot of us even think about being charitable with the money, even if it’s paying off our parent’s mortgage or buying a friend a new car. Others even think about donating a large chunk of the winnings to charity or even total strangers. It’s that last part that scammers hope you’ll believe in being on the receiving end of the donation to a total stranger.

    The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers that scammers are posing as a somewhat famous Powerball winner from Wisconsin. The actual winner was a man who won a $768 million lottery jackpot in 2019. He was a retail employee before hitting the jackpot. After winning, he was known to go back to his previous employer just to hand out gift cards to random customers in the store.

    Scammers are using this man’s name in a phishing scheme. They claim to be the Powerball winner and are sending out text and social media messages telling people nationwide they’ve been chosen to receive a $50,000 gift The victims are then instructed to click on a link which will help them claim their gift. Victims have reported giving scammers their Social Security numbers along with their driver’s license information. Those two pieces of information are essentially the keys needed to steal your identity completely. Other victims have reported losing money when asked for processing fees and taxes.

    We understand there are people out there who are in dire financial need. The pressure and stress of these situations can cause almost anybody to misjudge a situation. However, if you receive an unsolicited message promising you money out of the blue, the odds are almost 100% that it’s a scam. The generous lottery winner that gives out free money is largely only seen in fiction. Even if a lottery winner wanted to give out money to random strangers like this, the legalities and logistics of doing so would make it not worth doing.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , lottery scam, , , vaccine lottery, vax for the win   

    Scammers pose as state vaccine lotteries 

    By Greg Collier

    Several states have implemented what are being referred to as vaccine lotteries. Cash prizes are being given out to encourage more people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Some states have even begun to issue payments to winners. However, with any act that’s designed to help the public there are inevitably those who try to use the system to their own advantage and the vaccine lotteries are no different.

    For example, California has just paid out prize to winners in their ‘Vax for the Win’ lottery. They’re expected to make another drawing this week. The Department of Health has recently said they’ve received dozens of calls about residents being told they’ve won the lottery by scammers. At least one resident received a message through social media. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since sweepstakes and lottery scams have been taking money from victims for decades.

    As with most modern scams, the goals in this scam are after one of two things. Either the scammers want your personal information, or they want you to pay them. In many lottery scams, the scammers will tell the victim they need to pay taxes or a processing fee before they can receive their winnings. Making lottery or sweepstakes winners pay for their prize is illegal in every state, so if someone asks for a payment, they’re a scammer.

    California says that their winners will receive a phone call with an official state caller and text ID, and they’ll also receive an email from the state with a form to fill out for their winnings. Residents are told to make sure the emails come from official state email addresses, in this case CA.gov.

    If your state is holding a vaccine lottery, it’s a good idea to check with your state to know how legitimate winners are being rewarded.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 18, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , lottery scam, , ,   

    Scammers send man ‘suitcase full of cash’ in lottery scam 

    Scammers send man 'suitcase full of cash' in lottery scam

    By Greg Collier

    Many of us dream about the day we finally with the lottery and have enough money to at least live comfortably for the rest of our lives. We know that the odds of winning the jackpot are astronomical, but we keep telling ourselves that someone has to win, so why not us? If you lean too heavy into that kind of thinking, it could leave you vulnerable if a scammer comes calling.

    For example, a man in Phoenix received a registered letter that said he had won $4.5 million and a Mercedes-Benz. The letter also stated that the man qualified for the prize because he paid his utility bills on time. The man was also sent a locked suitcase that contained $1 million. Here’s where the catch comes in.

    In order to receive the code to safely open the suitcase the mad had to send a series of payments. If the man tried to open the suitcase without the codes, dye packs would supposedly explode rendering the cash useless. Unfortunately, the man made $25,000 in payment to the scammers before realizing he had been swindled. He was eventually able to open the suitcase on his own, and it was filled with gardening magazines.

    The most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with scammers like this is, you can’t win a prize for a contest you never entered. It’s also illegal in the United States for any sweepstakes to ask for a payment before you receive any kind of prize winnings. Sweepstakes winnings are hardly ever that elaborate either. At the most, you might have a minor celebrity show up at your home with an oversized novelty check.

    While you may not fall for such an elaborate scam, you may know someone who is a potential target. If someone you know starts talking about how they’re about to come into a lot of money, you may want to make sure they’re not being scammed.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: lottery scam, , , ,   

    Sweepstakes scammers show up at man’s door 

    Sweepstakes scammers show up at man's door

    Usually, today’s scammers like to be as far away from their victims as possible. Between the internet and cheap phone rates, scammers can target just about anyone anywhere around the globe. However, every once in awhile a scammer will take it to the next level to try to fool their victim.

    That happened to a man in New Jersey recently. Scammers targeted him in a sweepstakes or lottery scam. The way the scam normally works is scammers will contact random people to tell them that they’ve won a great deal of money in a contest that they didn’t actually enter. The scammers will then say that the ‘winner’ has to either pay taxes or some kind of transfer fee on their winnings before they can collect it. Even if the victim pays there are no winnings and the victim is usually out thousands of dollars.

    The scammers in this case posed as the most famous sweepstakes in America, the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. We’ve all seen the commercials over the years of PCH delivering oversized novelty checks to their winners. The scammers, in this case, called the man repeatedly to tell him that he had won one of their renowned prizes. They told him a representative would show up at his door with the prize. A woman actually showed up to his home claiming to be from PCH and was said to be holding a bouquet of flowers to make the illusion seem more authentic. Thankfully, the man was on to the scam and threatened to call the police if they did not leave his property. The woman got into a waiting car and left.

    No legitimate sweepstakes or lottery will ask you for tax money or fees in advance if you win as that is illegal in the United States. There’s also no such thing as winning a contest that you didn’t even enter.

    While we all dream of winning a giant jackpot to relieve our financial woes, don’t let the dream cloud your common sense.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , lottery scam,   

    Scammers pose as the BBB 

    Scammers pose as the BBB

    The main weapon in the scammer’s arsenal is their ability to pose as almost anyone. In the past scammers have posed as potential buyers, potential sellers, employers, kidnappers, police, and imprisoned grandchildren just to name a few. One scammer is even said to have posed as the current US Secretary of the Treasury in order to steal people’s identities under the guise of assisting with economic impact payments. The one organization we never heard about scammers posing as was the one organization that does the most to try to protect consumers against scams. That was until now.

    According to Wikipedia, the Better Business Bureau is a private nonprofit organization whose purpose is to focus on advancing marketplace trust. To that aim, they’ve become one of the leading national authorities in most types of commercial scams. Their scam tracker tool not only lets you know when a scam is happening in your area but it allows you to report scams as well.

    Imagine the BBB’s surprise when they received word that their name had been used in a scam. An elderly man in San Jose, California lost $45,000 to a lottery scam. The scammers had called him claiming to be from the Better Business Bureau and told the man that he had won a ‘mega lottery’. The scammers then kept getting the man to pay thousands of dollars in fake taxes and various fraudulent fees before he could claim his prize.

    After becoming impatient with not receiving his prize, the man contacted the BBB wondering where the lottery payout was. This is when he discovered that the BBB was not trying to collect money from him and that the whole thing was a scam.

    Remember, that anyone online or calling and texting you can say they’re whoever they want you to believe they are. Also, when it comes to lotteries and sweepstakes, no one ever gets picked at random for a contest that they never entered. Not only that, but it is illegal in the United States for anyone to try to make you pay before claiming any winnings. That’s why commercial sweepstakes always mention that no purchase is necessary.

  • Geebo 8:25 am on April 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , lottery scam, , ,   

    Kidnapping scams, among others, continue 

    Kidnapping scams, among others, continue

    For the past few weeks, we’ve been discussing scams that have been related to the coronavirus pandemic whether it’s directly or indirectly. While fears surrounding the pandemic have been a boon to many con artists, some are still running the same old scams without using coronavirus as a tool in their arsenal.

    In Denver, the police have been receiving complaints about kidnapping scams taking place. This is when a scammer will call a victim and tell them that they’ve kidnapped a loved one. The scammers will then demand a ransom either through wire transfer, gift cards or other hard to trace payment options. The trick to this scam is that nobody has been actually kidnapped and the scammers are hoping the fear generated in the situation will cause the victim to pay the phony ransom. Often, these scammers are able to find the names of their pretend victims through social media making the threatening call more convincing. If you ever receive one of these phone calls, always get someone you trust to call the suspected victim while you keep the virtual kidnappers on the phone. In any case, you should always contact the police if you find yourself in the midst of this scam.

    Two Chicago men were arrested in Boise, Idaho accused of a social media scam that cost victims thousands of dollars. The two men would allegedly take to social media and post the message “Who ready to get paid today? Text CASH NOW to [phone number redacted.] It’s legit… tell them I referred you.” Victims were said to be persuaded to hand over their debit card information including their PIN. Instead of getting paid, the two men would deposit phony checks into the victims’ accounts then withdraw the money before the bank would realize the checks were fake.

    In Kentucky, scammers are posing as the state Lottery Commission and telling victims that they have won large prizes. The scammers will then either ask for ‘taxes’ on the prize or they’ll ask for bank information to send the phony prize. In either case, the victims end up losing money before it’s all over/. Keep in mind that when you purchase a lottery ticket you never give your contact information to the point of purchase so the Lottery Commission has no way of contacting you.

    While these scams may bot be happening in your area now, it could only be a matter of time before they are.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , lottery scam,   

    You can’t win a sweepstakes you never entered 

    You can't win a sweepstakes you never entered

    It’s time again for more scams that are happening around the country.

    In Iowa, authorities are warning residents who receive a letter from the “North America Consumer Promotion Draw.” The letter states that you’ve won some kind of sweepstakes prize and that you should call one of their agents so you can claim your prize. Of course, in order to claim your winnings, you have to pay a $1,000 processing and insurance fee. Instead of claiming any prizes, you’ll just be out of a grand. By and large, random people don’t get entered into giveaways that they haven’t entered themselves, and legitimate sweepstakes won’t ask you to pay a fee to claim your prize.

    In Wisconsin, a man fell victim to the bank texting scam. The man received a text from a scammer posing as his bank stating that there was fraudulent activity on his account. When the man texted back that those transactions weren’t him he received an automated phone call asking for his account’s PIN. Once he provided his PIN an actual fraudulent charge was made to his debit card for $500. If you receive any kind of notification stating that there’s a problem with your bank account, contact your bank directly. Don’t use the number that the text number may have provided and never give your PIN unless you’re absolutely sure you’re talking to your bank.

    Lastly, a Sheriff’s Office in Kentucky is warning local businesses about a gift card scam targeting their employees. A number of people have received emails posing as their bosses asking the employees to go out and buy gift cards. Once the gift cards were purchased the employees were instructed to send pictures of the gift card PINs through text message. If you receive an email like this, always verify with the person who is supposedly sending the email. If in doubt, call the person who sent the request to make sure you’re not falling victim to a scam.

    Please keep in mind that any number of these scams could be coming to your area at any time.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Jamaica, lottery scam,   

    Victim fights back in lottery scam 

    Victim fights back in lottery scam

    A 90-year-old woman from a small town in North Dakota was taken for $400,000 in a foreign lottery scam. A scammer called the woman to tell her that she had won millions of dollars in a lottery. The catch was that she would have to pay advance fees in order to claim the winnings. This woman ended up paying $400,000 to scammers by sending them checks, cashing out a life insurance policy, and even borrowing money from family members. The woman’s children were finally able to discover what was happening and explained to the woman what was really going on.

    The victim, in this case, didn’t take the losses lying down and helped launch a federal investigation into this particular scam. Federal investigators have been able to apprehend 31 suspects allegedly involved in the scam. Most of the suspects were captured in the United States but a number of them were extradited from Jamaica. It’s believed this scam ring was able to bilk its elderly victims out of $6 million. While federal prosecutors have pledged to get the woman’s money back, so far she’s only been able to collect $287 out of the $400,000 she lost.

    With most scams, if something sounds too good to be true it probably is. Even if you play your state lottery the lottery commission isn’t going to call you by phone. In that case, you need to contact them to claim any winnings if there over a certain amount. While you may be in a desperate situation where the money would be a welcome relief, take a moment to think about wahts’ going on. Why would someone call you to give you money for a lottery that you didn’t even enter? There are no mystery lotteries giving out money to random winners. While it may sound like a gift from above, it’s actually a deal with the devil.

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