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scam alerts from the Prosecutor's Office

The Lottery/Sweepstakes Scam - Episode 2
March 28, 2017

Perhaps you may recall the actor Clint Eastwood’s famous question “Do you feel lucky?” It is a question lottery and sweepstakes scammers take advantage of with this widespread scam. These scammers know that it is the hope of everyone to be lucky and that many will believe that lucky lightning will strike them with a bonanza of free winnings when the scammer makes contact. These imposters are clever and convincing. They do their research. Usually they find you first on a computer search and check available information such as your age and relatives. Perhaps they will also find employment and military service information to use for common ground to lead you to believe that the scammer is legitimate and that you really have won a prize. If you continue to believe in the ruse you will be the prize for the scammer and not the other way around. Once the scammer has you convinced that you will receive a windfall by being the lucky one selected, even if you never bought a lottery or sweepstakes ticket, you will be required to part with money via a green dot card, MoneyGram or wire transfer. In one case, I received a call asking if he really won millions and should pay a taxi driver $5,000.00 in cash for the insurance to bring the millions to his door? It took some time to unravel his belief and avoid being taken for a ride. Another common approach is to convince you that all that is necessary is to prepay the tax on the winnings which are then never received. The take away from this is this: YOU NEVER HAVE TO PAY MONEY TO RECEIVE WHAT YOU HAVE WON, if lucky lightning really does strike. If you have to send money for any purpose to receive winnings, it is a scam and nothing more. Knowing this proves again that knowledge really is power.

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