YUMA, Ariz.- The Better Business Bureau receives calls every week from consumers who believe they have won the lottery or a sweepstakes. When they are actually being scammed out of their hard-earned money. To avoid being a victim here are some helpful tips to keep your money safe. Here are some red-flags to be aware of when getting a call about winning a sweepstakes or lottery.
- YOU CAN’T WIN A CONTEST YOU DIDN’T ENTER. You need to buy a ticket or enter to actually win.
- YOU ARE OFFERED ‘TOO-GOOD-TO-BE-TRUE” PRIZES.It is almost always a large sum of money, but there is always a catch. Scammers try and offer a large sum with no-strings attached.
- YOU HAVE TO GIVE PERSONAL INFORMATION. Anytime someone tries to get your bank account number, social security number or other sensitive information, that should be an automatic red-flag.
- YOU HAVE TO PAY TO WIN. Don’t be blinded by the promise of a large sum of cash, for money int he future. If they are asking for money first that is a red flag. This is also against the law Federal Trade Commission, it’s illegal to ask you to pay or buy something to enter or increase your odds of winning. Legitimate prizes do not come with a processing fees, and taxes are paid directly to the Internal Revenue Service after winnings are collected.
- DO NOT WIRE MONEY OR USE PREPAID DEBIT CARD TO PEOPLE OVER THE PHONE. This can be difficult to track these types of transactions, so you will have little to no way of getting your money back.