How the scam works:
Similar to the Free Delivery Gift Scam, victims receive a call from someone saying they've won the big prize in a lottery - to the tune of about $800,000 (could be a famous bank draw such as Bank of America, Dream Lottery, Publishing Clearhouse, etc or a charity lottery). The caller will often try to get you excited and sell you on emotional statements like, "your kids are taken care of now" or "your retirement is well-deserved."
If you don't remember entering, they'll tell you someone else might have put your name in the draw, or that you might have even qualified by shopping at WAL-MART or through Medicaid services. In order to receive the money, you'll have to pay the state/provincial tax, something like 5% of the winnings.
Happy to get almost a million dollars, tons of victims send in the tiny 5% to a PO Box, after receiving a "confirmation" e-mail with the details on how the money should be transferred. Victims are also recommended to send the money via reloadable Green Dot or MoneyPak cards.
This scam often targets the elderly and it's reported hundreds of thousands of dollars are lost every year to this one.
In a different variation of the scam, the 'prize' is a car for which victims have to only pay certain small 'fees' on a Green Dot credit card. These phone calls have been reported to come from Jamaica, from a 876 area code.
How to avoid:
You can’t win if you didn't play, so just hang up the phone if you don't remember entering. Beware of these phone calls, especially if the caller has a thick accent. A couple of the phone numbers you should look out for are (876)528.218 and (876)441.0922, both with Jamaican area codes. Just hang up. To avoid falling for MoneyPak scams, you should remember that if you're told you have to pay a fee to collect a cash prize or sweepstakes winnings, you haven't won anything. Never give your MoneyPak number to someone you don't know. Treat your MoneyPak card like cash, as transactions cannot be reversed.
When it comes to text messages, check the content for grammar mistakes. If you take a good look at the picture above you'll see many.
Make your friends and family aware of this scam by sharing it, using the buttons provided.
Good day, I got a text that I have qualified for £ 500,000.00 that I should send my details via E-mail, how true is it. This is my number. 07066997900
My name is seun, from Nigeria. I received a message from smscater.com dat i won £50 000.00. Is dis true and dis is my number.07037961304
I received a text message on July 30th that I won 50,000.00pounds and that I should Email my name, age and phone no to nkdep
On the 17th of july I receive a message. From +387099034232697 that I won £50,000.00 pound from Nokia UK mobile promo. Its it true
i received a test message on my phone with number +387098147906136 dat i won 90,000 pound on yearly promo.is dis truth or wat dis is my mobile number 08030742976
Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.
Scam Detector has officially partnered with the Better Business Bureau of Central and Northern Alberta. Every week, BBB provides a Top 10 list of the latest scams in every industry. Click on the links below!
Week August 22-28, 2014
1. Bank Card Not Working Scam
2. Lottery Winner Donation Scam
3. Robin Williams Video Scam
4. Laptop in FeDex Box Scam
5. Interac e-Transfer Scam
6. Vanilla Reload Scam
7. Bank Account Verification Scam
8. Do Not Call Registry Scam
9. Kik Freebie Scam
10. TV Channels Upgrade Scam
Do your part now!
If you like Scam Detector, do your part and help people prevent financial fraud! Make your family and friends aware of this app by clicking below.