Scammers are known for preying on their victims' vulnerabilities, such as financial hardship, fear, and confusion. Given our challenges surrounding COVID-19, this makes even the savviest among us more susceptible to a scam.
The Federal Trade Commission recently posted how scammers are betting on people’s hardships through “You’ve won! Now pay us” schemes. During these uncertain economic times, who would not want to win some extra cash or a new car? But if you get a phone call, text, or email saying “You’ve won!” don’t believe it.
Here’s how these schemes work. You’ll be contacted by someone stating they’re from a well-known organization. They’ll say “congratulations, you’ve won ____.” Then they’ll ask you to pay a “processing fee,” “shipping and handling,” or “taxes,” to claim your prize.
Scammers are betting on a person’s financial hardships to steal their money and/or personal information.
The fact is, anyone who says “You’ve won. Now pay us,” is always a scammer.
Consider these tips to avoid this scam:
Legitimate sweepstakes don’t make you pay a fee to get your prize. That includes taxes, shipping, and handling, or processing fees. There is no reason to give anyone your checking account or credit card number in response to sweepstakes promotions.
Don’t send money transfers or gift cards, or give personal information. Sending money transfers or gift cards is like sending cash, once the money is gone, it’s gone. You cannot trace it or get it back.
Don’t trust your caller ID. Scammers can make any name or number show up on your caller ID. When in doubt, hang up.