Identity theft, frauds and scams are occurring at an alarming rate worldwide. Identity thieves and scammers are constantly trying to separate you from your money. Often using “cold calls” to make contact, they may try to convince you of one of the following scenarios: you have won a lottery or sweepstakes and you need to send in money for registration and taxes, a family member is in jail and needs money, a family member has been kidnapped and you must pay ransom, a computer repair company wants to repair and your computer and needs your personal information to gain access, you owe money to the IRS, and they will send someone to arrest you if you don’t pay immediately…the list goes on and on.
A person in our area recently received a legitimate looking letter from Publisher’s Clearing House, but note the highlighted areas in the photograph. There are “partners” listed on the letter, the check shows it is from Delta Airlines written on a JP Morgan Chase Bank account, there is no return address, and there is a hand placed stamp instead of metered postage.
Please don’t become a victim! Never pay money up front to claim a prize or to cover taxes on a prize. If you are asked to load money on a pre-paid card or to wire money, it is a scam. Never give personal information to verify that you’ve won a prize, and if you are unsure, ask a trusted friend or relative to review any letters or emails claiming you have won a prize.
Remember – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!