How the scam works:
(with video below) 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.
Watch the video below to see how the Lottery Car Winning scam works:
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, Vanilla Reload, Ukash, 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.
The latest similar scam comes as a text message by SMSCaster.com and says: "Your mobile number has won 1000000 EURO and a BMW 5 Series, For claims email: email@example.com. The scammers use the number (353)873901103.
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. Always do your research and trust only legitimate sources. If you are really looking to earn money or rewards online or from social media, there is a couple of companies that are trustworthy and can offer you great opportunities:
Swagbucks.com is the world's largest free online rewards program. You get paid by doing things online which you might do anyway, such as searching the web, discover products, take surveys, watch videos, or play games. You can also get free iTunes and Amazon cards. The company has a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. You can register for free HERE. They have a $5 sign-up bonus.
If you are into paid surveys, this is the place. GlobalTestMarket is an industry leader in online research panels, where members are invited to participate in online surveys on numerous topics, and in return are eligible for cash or regular and frequent entry into sweepstakes. Highly recommended, as they also have A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. You can register for free HERE.
How to report:
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How to protect yourself more:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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Week May 26 - June 2, 2016
|1. Compromised Credit Card Scam|
|2. Weight Loss Scam|
|3. Hacker Restriction On Google Scam|
|4. Telephone Line Technician Scam|
|5. Lottery Winner Donation Scam|
Scam Detector Gives Back To The Community
Scam Detector recently partnered with Travel by Dart, an inspirational web-series where two friends blindfoldedly throw a dart at the world map and travel wherever it lands, with the purpose of helping the land or the people. Click HERE or on the image below to watch the trailer of the series!