“You Have Just Won $1,000,000.00!” Ever receive a letter for a sweepstakes or some form of “lottery” that indicates that you have been selected as a winner? All you have to do is call the phone number listed on the letter and claim your prize. You may then be asked to give personal information or perhaps obtain an amount of cash and wire that money to a company or individual to cover the costs of handling and insurance on your winnings. Sound pretty simple? Sound too good to be true? Did you ever enter this particular sweepstakes?
The vast majority of these unsolicited letters are scams; scams that are designed to separate you from your hard earned money. Trust your initial instincts and do not respond to this form of solicitation and theft. Similar scams have been used before and even now have evolved from mail scams to crimes on the Internet which are sent via email. Any form of communication that seeks either your personal information or funds should be ignored unless YOU initiated the contact. Confirm the validity through reliable sources before you allow yourself to become a victim.
Some factors to look for may include;
· Any solicitation that you did not ask for
· Addresses that are out of the area
· Names of large companies or persons that you have no affiliation with
· Request for personal information
· ANY request for you to send money
· Ask yourself, “Is this too good to be true?”
Protect yourself and your family. Many of these scams target the elderly. Please pass on the information to your loved ones and help prevent this type of crime.