The Canadian lottery scam and numerous other scams are “alive and well,” and law enforcement officials get numerous reports from people who have been targeted by con artists, police said.
Recently an 88-year-old woman told police she was contacted several times by a man who claimed she was in competition to win a large sum of money, Brownwood officer Lynn Beard said.
The man told the woman she had already won a percentage of the money and she needed to send money to cover the taxes on the amount she had won.
The woman sent the man, who had a Canada address, $3,600.
A family member realized what had happened and reported the incident to Brownwood police.
“Our communities and its citizens are continually targeted by these schemes and others like it,” Beard said.
It is important to recognize the schemes and assist in protecting family members and friends, he said.
“We all find ourselves in situations where, even though we know that a deal sounds too good to be true, we take a chance,” Beard said.
He offered tips to avoid being scammed.
If it sounds too good to be true, it generally is. Do not provide any personal information to anyone who contacts you by phone. Do not send money to anyone who claims you have won a prize. Do not accept information provided by the caller as being true. If in doubt, follow up by contacting a trusted source of information. Place yourself on the National No Call List by going to www.donotcall.gov/default.
aspx or by calling (888) 382-1222.
If you are unsure of a phone call or what action you need to take, visit www.ftc.gov to read or download additional information on numerous consumer-related scams. Contact your local law enforcement agency for additional materials or call (877) 382-4357 to receive free material from the Federal Trade Commission.