Lottery and lottery scammers are relaunching their brand of theft, getting a bit more sophisticated. And it works – last year the FTC reported triple-digit scams. Almost $ 170 million has been stolen. Instead of winning money or prizes, consumers lost an average of $ 1,000 each.
The Better Business Bureau says losses due to raffle fraud have peaked at 35% in three years.
The main target of scammers are people over 55 years old.
The deception begins when a scammer contacts you with a phone call, email, direct mail, or social media notification congratulating you on winning a big contest.
But there is a big problem, you will be required to pay some fee, tax or even customs duty to claim your prize.
Letter says big win and even sends fake check for $ 2.3 million, but to claim it you have to send a fee to the scammers.
Scammers often use familiar business names. In one, Honda awards a free CR-V. The catch is, you have to pay hundreds for shipping.
On social media, the bait is a thousand dollar Amazon gift card, but there is no price and you will have to shell out tons of personal information, making you a target for identity thieves.
The big takeaway:
1) Never pay for a price. This is a sure red flag for a scam. Scammers will ask you to pay them by transferring money or buying gift cards, giving them the code on the back of the card. Sometimes they even stay on the phone with you when you buy them.
2) If you have been scammed, report it to the FTC and BBB. If you have compromised your bank account information, notify your bank.
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