How the Scam Works:
You answer a call from a number starting with area code (876). The caller tells you that you've won the "Mega Millions" Jamaican lottery.
Don't worry about collecting your winnings from overseas, assures the "lottery official." All you need to do is pay a few thousand dollars in taxes or fees, and the jackpot is yours. The lottery will even take a prepaid debit card, easily available at your neighborhood convenience store. You load the card up with money and share the number and PIN with the "lottery official." Of course, the caller is a scam artist. Once you give him your prepaid debit card information, he will drain the account and disappear.
So many people are falling victim to the con and losing large sums of money that the Federal Trade Commission issued an alert about the scam. Some victims are even reporting being threatened with physical harm if they don't agree to pay the fees.
Tips to Protect Yourself From a Sweepstakes Scam:
Lottery and sweepstakes scams are common. Here are tips to avoid them:
Put your number on a "do not call list." Join the National Do Not Call Registry. This won't stop scams entirely, but it can help reduce the number of unwanted calls you receive.
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