When economic times are hard, especially during the holidays, it is easy for some consumers to let down their guard and become victims of lottery or prize scams. A few things to remember if you should be contacted by anyone claiming that you have won a lottery or other type of prize contest:
– If you didn’t enter, you can’t win. Period. Nobody wins a “random” lottery.
– If you have to pay anything to attain your winnings, it is a scam. Scam artists will always claim that you have to pay some type of tax, duty, or transfer fee in order to claim your “grand prize.”
– If communications are always by phone, especially an international number, then it is a scam. Even worse, callers will use high-pressure tactics designed to make the victim feel like they are stupid or incompetent for “wasting an opportunity to receive millions”.
– A lot of your personal information is available on the internet, so don’t be surprised if a caller is familiar with you, your employment, neighbors, etc.
– Never, ever give any bank or credit union account information in order to receive a deposit of your winnings. Scammers will use this information to drain all of your accounts.
– Always remember, if it is too good to be true, then it probably is.