Financial losses from sweepstakes, rise in lottery fraud, says BBB – NBC Chicago

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers that financial losses are on the rise from schemes involving fake lotteries and sweepstakes during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the BBB, the bureau has seen a drop in complaints since it conducted a 2018 study on sweepstakes and lottery fraud, but financial losses have increased by more than 35% in terms of losses in dollars reported, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission. .

Under these schemes, criminals contact consumers through a variety of channels, including phone calls, emails, social media, and text messages. Typically, scammers impersonate state lotteries or national contests, including Publishers Clearing House, and when they do, they ask the “winner” to pay taxes or fees before a prize can be awarded.

Thieves typically request payment by wire transfer or bank deposit, but may also request gift cards by committing the theft.

If you suspect you might be the victim of such a scheme, the BBB advises you to use the following tools to assess the veracity of the allegations:

-Real lotteries or raffles don’t ask for money. If someone wants money for taxes, themselves or a third party, most likely they are thieves.

-You must participate in sweepstakes and sweepstakes to win. If you don’t remember doing it, contact the authorities.

-Consumers are urged to contact the lottery company or the national lottery directly to determine if they have won a prize.

-Law enforcement officials do not call or award prizes.

Consumers who believe they have been the victim of a lottery or lottery fraud can contact the BBB, the Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP or the US Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.

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