Sweepstakes winners may be target of latest scam

Sweepstakes winners may be target of latest scam

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by Natalie Podgorski

KTVB.COM

Posted on December 8, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 12 at 11:08 AM

BOISE--  If you get a call saying you've won money in a sweepstakes, watch out!  You may be the latest target in a new scam hitting the Treasure Valley.

Scam artists are using fake sweepstakes to try to con people out of their money.

Jack Dillard, a Boise resident, received a phone call Thursday morning from someone claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House.  The man claimed Dillard had won $250,000.  But there was a catch, Dillard had to pay an insurance fee to collect the money.  He knew he was being targeted by a scam artist.

Dillard decided to play along, "I said, 'What do you mean I have to pay for it?'" 

Whenever Dillard asked about the insurance fee, he says the caller changed the subject.

The scam artist tried to get Dillard to give up a credit card or check number.  Dillard was smart and kept that information to himself.

After about five minutes, Dillard hung up the phone.

The Better Business Bureau says this week several people have reported similar calls.

"Bottom line, if you hear that you've won some kind of prize and the first request is that you pay a fee, you know it is a scam, plain and simple, hang up," said Dale Dixon, President of the Better Business Bureau.

The Better Business Bureau also issued an urgent SCAM alert cautioning businesses and consumers about an email that is purporting to be from a email address about a recently filed complaint. The email contains a dangerous attachment regarding a complaint and appears to direct recipients to the BBB website. Officials say this is a scam, as the BBB does not send complaints as attachments via email.

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