This scam is very familiar. You shouldn’t fall for it. No one should. But they do.
Sure, everyone wants to win a prize. I keep waiting for the people from Publishers Clearinghouse to show up at my door!
If you get a call or a letter telling you that you won but you need to send some money to pay for shipping and handling or some other charge, keep your money in your pocket. You didn’t win anything.
How about if the caller tells you that you must act right now or the offer won’t be any good. The best thing to do is hang up.
How about when they ask for personal information such as your bank account number (so they can send your money)? Nah! Hang up.
Guard against these “opportunities.” Keep your money and credit card in your pocket. You’ll be money ahead.
You always see warnings about these scams. You read about them and tell yourself that you won’t fall for them. But you do. How do I know? You call me and tell me and ask for help getting out of whatever you’ve gotten into. So–let’s go over some now.\:
1. The Grandparent Scam–there is a description of this listed in another post, but a new twist consists of you getting a call telling you that your grandchild has been kidnapped and you need to pay the ransom. NEVER send any money to these people until you verify the whereabouts of your grandchild.
2. Medicare Scam–most often Medicare itself is targeted. But you may also be targeted. A “representative” calls you asking you to verify personal information. Don’t give out any. Medicare already has your information. They will not ask for it.
3. Reverse Mortgage Scams–Do not take out a reverse mortgage without advice from a trusted financial professional.
Along the lines of mortgages, you may receive a call from someone telling you that if your mortgage is paid off, you need a Deed of Reconveyance or you you will have serious legal problems. They will offer to get you one if you pay for it for somewhere around $175. This is a document that you get when you pay off your mortgage. It’s a publicly available document that you can get from the county for a small processing charge.
There are many, many more scams including funeral pre-payment scams, lottery scams, scareware (fake virus) scams. Here is a really useful page that will offer more valuable advice: https://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/fraud.