smart spending

Phone scams against the elderly

Lottery scam
4 of 7
Lottery scam

A caller gushes that you've won millions. But first you must pay taxes and transfer fees. He or she might request personal information, such as Social Security or bank account numbers. And your caller may make multiple calls to establish a personal rapport, says Foley.

Scam clues:

  • You don't recall buying a ticket.
  • Real lotteries don't track down winners. They won't call at all, much less repeatedly.
  • Real lotteries don't ask you for money.
  • Lotteries don't need your banking information.
  • In reality, you deal with the tax authorities yourself -- after you collect.

A twist: The caller may tell you the money will be awarded to someone else if you don't pay quickly.

Real lotteries don't regift.

And how would anyone know you hold the "winning" ticket?




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