Sweepstakes Scam

Here is a scam that neighbor Carl  F shared with me today:

“I just wanted to bring something to the community’s attention. My wife got a letter in the mail with what looks like an official Wachovia check for $3,880.00.  It said that we were a sweepstakes winner and that we needed to call the number provided before we cashed the check.  I did some research on the internet and found out that this was a fraud and a scam.

The way this fraud works is:

First they ask you to deposit check and then call them back. (The letter looks official with prize claim number and everything).

Second, after depositing fake check, you call them back and they tell you to wire them money to cover taxes for the prize money (in our case the prize was $275,000.00 big ones.)

Third, once you send a money order, you only find out afterwards that the check is a fraud.  At this point, you’re pretty much out of luck and money.”

Grandparent Scam

A couple of our residents have already been affected by the “Grandparent Scam” which

has been prevalent in retirement communities around the country.

How this works:  The scammer will call up an elderly person pretending to be their grandson or granddaughter.  For instance, the scammer will say something like, “Hi Grand mom, it’s me”, and proceed to share a tragic story like being arrested or stranded in another country.   The scammer will tell the “grandparent” not to tell their parents they are in trouble, or make them feel like they are the only one they can trust with their tale of misfortune.    Wanting to help, the grandparent will wire money from a Western Union or a Wal-Mart to a foreign country.  Unfortunately, getting the money back is almost impossible.

According to Linda Trischitta with the Sun Sentinel:

Consumer watchdogs from Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum to the Better Business Bureau warn that the scheme has accumulated victims in 14 states and two Canadian provinces since 2008. Authorities believe complaints are not always filed.

“People are embarrassed to report it to law enforcement or their families, especially if they are alone or are fighting for their independence,” said FBI special agent and spokesman Richard Kolko. “And if you don’t report them, we’ve got no chance of catching them.”

If this happens to you or anyone you know.   Please tell them to go to the police.  Also, please spread the word so our neighbors aren’t taken advantage of by these types of predators.

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Sharon Aron Baron
Sharon Aron Baron created the Woodlands Tamarac in 2010 for original News for the community. In 2011 she went on to create Tamarac Talk, in 2012, Coral Springs Talk and 2017, Parkland Talk.

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