Your Better Business Bureau has received several calls this week from consumers stating that they have received calls from the BBB of Ashtabula County, which does not exist. Consumers report that they were asked to send money via a money order to win a cash prize.
A Niles consumer stated that he received a phone call from an 876-467-5439 phone number, the 876 exchange is a Jamaican area code. The caller asked the consumer to go to his local CVS and send a Green Dot prepaid credit card. If the consumer sent the prepaid card, he was going to receive a cash prize of $550,000 that would be delivered to his home this afternoon, Friday February 10, at 4 pm.
While the 876 exchange appears to be a domestic area code, it is actually an international pay-per-call phone number. Other international exchanges include 809, 649 and 287.
The BBB is advising that this is a scam and if you happen to receive this type of phone call, please do not engage with the caller.
The BBB also reminds consumers
· Never provide any personal information to unknown callers, including bank information, Social Security Number and contact information.
· Never wire money to unknown individuals. Wire transfers are untraceable and there is no opportunity to recoup money if you have been scammed.
· If you’ve really won a prize, you don’t have to pay anything in advance — not a penny for taxes, fees, or anything else. It’s illegal to charge upfront for a prize.
To learn more about long distance telephone scams, visit the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) website.
Please contact your BBB with any questions about this scam at 330.744.3111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.