According to AARP, new lottery scams are still making money, making it for the lottery scammers. While we all try to hold onto our hard-earned bucks, the scammers are making headway into being the big winners. The poor unsuspecting phony ‘winners’ are divulging personal information, which is playing into the hands of the crooks.
In 2009, 42,000 complaints regarding phony lottery scams were reported to the Federal Trade Commission. You know the ones, “Congratulations, you won a kazillion bucks in the Vietnam Lottery”…and, yes, people fall for it.
Now the little scammers are messing with state lotteries. The last big scam was in August and involved ‘winning the Delaware lottery’. The ‘winners’ got either a phone call, e-mail or letter stating they won a big payoff. Winners are told to call a particular phone number. During said call you are to verify your account number and/or social security number. The other version is you get what appears to be a valid check, which you are told to deposit and use some it it to pay for ‘fees’. Of course, the check is not valid, but you won’t know that for a week and its too late.
By responding to these scams you are providing vital information and putting yourself at risk of identify theft. People are falling for these scams even more now because they are hurting for money. If you think you can win thousands of dollars and pay off your bills, you go for it right? Wrong.
Pay attention to the following tips:
* If you didn’t buy a lottery ticket, you can’t win a lottery.
* If you win the lottery you must step up and say so, no one will contact you and tell you that you won.
* Verify your winning lottery numbers; it doesn’t hurt to double or triple check.
* Sign your name to your lottery ticket as soon as you buy it. That way, if you are a winner a dishonest store employee cannot tell you it wasn’t a winner, and then use it himself to collect the money.
Anyone of any age can be lured into these scams. Unfortunately, seniors are more likely to fall for them for many reasons. There is an old saying, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” Don’t be that fool. Be aware, be informed and hang onto your money.