BBB sees rise in scams involving lotteries and sweepstakes in Michigan

(WXYZ) – Lotteries and lottery scams aren’t new, but sometimes there’s an influx of cases that triggers a warning. This is the situation right now in the Detroit metro.

The Better Business Bureau wants you to know that scammers are after your hard-earned money or your personal information.

Pap Papciak of St. Clair Shores was targeted twice. She recently got a call saying she won $50,000. But, the caller asked him to go to the post office, buy a money order and send them to the caller to pay the taxes first.

She said the scammers wanted her to send $1,000 right away. But Papciak had never entered a sweepstakes, and she knows you don’t pay money to win contests.

“I called the Better Business Bureau because I didn’t want anyone else to take that call and send them money,” she said.

It was not the first time she had been targeted. Earlier this year, she opened her mail and found a “cheque” for nearly $5,000. He came with a letter stating that she had won $3,000. However, she would have to deposit the check and then send four separate checks for $1,000 in order to receive her winnings.

Ashley Gibbard of the Better Business Bureau said her office receives several calls each week about these types of scams. In some cases, Gibbard said the scammers pretended to be from the BBB or used the name of a local law enforcement agency to make the scheme more believable.

“Where do you see this scam popping up the most right now in Michigan?” I asked.

“Metro Detroit, definitely. Wayne County, Oakland County, Macomb County,” she said.

Here are some reminders from the BBB:

  • You must register to purchase a ticket to win.
  • Real lotteries or sweepstakes don’t ask for money
  • Law enforcement and the BBB will not call you to give awards
  • You may be liable for any funds drawn from a fake check

The BBB asks consumers to report any suspected scams to their BBB Scam Tracker.

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