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Phone scams against the elderly

The sweepstakes con
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The sweepstakes con

Scammers will blur the lines on sweepstakes and lotteries, hoping you don't know the difference.

But while sweepstakes or contest sponsors will contact you (the opposite of how a lottery works), all the other scam tip-offs are the same. You have to proactively enter. There are no random drawings based on your phone number, address, e-mail address or purchase records. You never have to pay out money if you've won a genuine contest. You also don't have to share banking information. And you settle with tax authorities yourself, after you've been paid.

One big tip-off: secrecy. If someone wants you to part with money and keep that fact a secret, it's a scam, says Jenny Shearer, spokeswoman for the FBI.

The whole purpose of sponsoring a sweepstakes is to generate publicity, so why would a real sweepstakes ask you not to tell anyone you've won?


 

 

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