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Lottery scam with a twist hitting Central Texas

Scam AlertScam Alert: Lottery scam with a twist hitting Central Texas
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How would you react if you heard, "Congratulations, your prize has been reserved!" over the phone?

The message is part of a sophisticated phone scam plaguing Central Texas, and is responsible for stealing millions of dollars from Americans each year.

Joann Keilberg and her husband Jim almost fell for it. The Smithville, Texas, couple received a call in July from someone claiming to work for Publishers Clearing House.

"I was happy," Keilburg said.

The caller said the won couple won $3.5 million and a new car. Then, the Keilbergs were instructed to call a phone number and were instructed to input a six-digit number exclusive to them.

"Congratulations, your prize has been reserved! Please proceed to event headquarters during event times to claim your prize," announced a recording after dialing the number.

The KVUE Defenders put it to the test, using several random six-digit numbers. Every combination tried worked. The Austin Better Business Bureau said that's a clear sign it's a scam.

"It really brings some legitimacy that you may in fact have won a prize," said Erin Dufner with Austin's BBB.

But, the Keilbergs still got in their car and headed to Wal-Mart. The caller said all they had to do was fill out a MoneyGram and wire $200 to a Jamaican address to pay for taxes on their prize.

Once they wired the money, the caller told the Keilbergs the prize patrol van would show up at their front door.

Before they did, the Keilberg's called the real Publishers Clearing House, which confirmed the calls were a scam.

While it may be difficult to believe people still fall for this fraud, a 2014 congressional report estimates Jamaican lottery scammers steal more than $300 million each year from U.S. citizens. An elderly woman in New Jersey committed suicide in 2014 after losing her life savings to the scammers.

"The issue is that they can be very difficult to find. They are asking people to wire money which is very difficult to trace and almost impossible to get back because it's almost like cash," Dufner said.

Law enforcement said to look-out for area "876" area codes. Those number are often associated with a call from Jamaica, where the scam originates.

KVUE

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31 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by PlayToWin47.
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mikeintexas's avatar - tx avatar-1.gif
Texas Panhandle
United States
Member #136843
December 20, 2012
1280 Posts
Online
Posted: September 5, 2015, 8:46 am - IP Logged

Jamaica?

Heck, no...I couldn't even get her to go out with me.

    LottoMetro's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
    Happyland
    United States
    Member #146344
    September 1, 2013
    1129 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: September 5, 2015, 10:41 am - IP Logged

    I guess some people really believe the IRS has an office in Jamaica Green laugh

    If the chances of winning the jackpot are so slim, why play when the jackpot is so small? Your chances never change, but the potential payoff does.
    If a crystal ball showed you the future of the rest of your life, and in that future you will never win a jackpot, would you still play?

    2016: -48.28% (13 tickets) ||
    P&L % = Total Win($)/Total Wager($) - 1

      hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

      United States
      Member #52345
      May 21, 2007
      2659 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: September 5, 2015, 11:01 am - IP Logged

       

                   CrAzY Humans

        KyMystikal's avatar - 1457224010054
        Florence, Alabama
        United States
        Member #8658
        November 13, 2004
        1993 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: September 5, 2015, 11:17 am - IP Logged

        Wow, I had something similar to that happen to me last month. I received a call from someone with a Washington, D.C. number stating they  were from the U.S. Treasury and I had been awarded a $8,000 grant to do whatever I wanted to do with as long as it wasn't for illegal activities or gambling. I was given a 6 digit number and instructed to call another number for details on how to claim my grant. When I called the other number I was told the same thing and that the money was tax free and I didn't have to claim it on my taxes. That was my first red flag but I continued on. I asked why did I receive this grant and was told because I was a loyal U.S. citizen and paid my taxes loyally and on time. That was another red flag because I haven't done my taxes for last year, lol. I continued on listening and was told those key words that lets you know it's a fake........ To claim your grant(reward) just send $250 for processing and local taxes. I hung up on him then. It sounds like the same scheme they used there just changed organization.

        I love doubles and remember, it's just a game!!!!!!

          hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

          United States
          Member #52345
          May 21, 2007
          2659 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: September 5, 2015, 12:26 pm - IP Logged

          Wow, I had something similar to that happen to me last month. I received a call from someone with a Washington, D.C. number stating they  were from the U.S. Treasury and I had been awarded a $8,000 grant to do whatever I wanted to do with as long as it wasn't for illegal activities or gambling. I was given a 6 digit number and instructed to call another number for details on how to claim my grant. When I called the other number I was told the same thing and that the money was tax free and I didn't have to claim it on my taxes. That was my first red flag but I continued on. I asked why did I receive this grant and was told because I was a loyal U.S. citizen and paid my taxes loyally and on time. That was another red flag because I haven't done my taxes for last year, lol. I continued on listening and was told those key words that lets you know it's a fake........ To claim your grant(reward) just send $250 for processing and local taxes. I hung up on him then. It sounds like the same scheme they used there just changed organization.

          I'd probably die laughing if someone tried that on me seeing that I live south of DC

            Avatar
            frontenac, kansas
            United States
            Member #67724
            December 3, 2008
            199 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: September 5, 2015, 1:24 pm - IP Logged

            I cant believe people are so gullible.  The lotteries say all the time you dont have to send any money to collect on prizes.  Why do people think they must do it without investigation to see whats exactly going on.  Its beyond me.

            I would laugh to if they call me and said i won on PCH.  I absolutly refuse to enter anything on PCH.  I did try and sign up one time from the ads here on lottery post....  I was blasted with email after email....I kept trying to unsubscribe but no luck, they kept sending them....took over 30 days to get it stopped.  So no more clearing house for me.

              mypiemaster's avatar - 2015021003pileofcash
              JACKPOT HUNTER

              United States
              Member #141034
              April 2, 2013
              1408 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: September 5, 2015, 1:32 pm - IP Logged

              I cant believe people are so gullible.  The lotteries say all the time you dont have to send any money to collect on prizes.  Why do people think they must do it without investigation to see whats exactly going on.  Its beyond me.

              I would laugh to if they call me and said i won on PCH.  I absolutly refuse to enter anything on PCH.  I did try and sign up one time from the ads here on lottery post....  I was blasted with email after email....I kept trying to unsubscribe but no luck, they kept sending them....took over 30 days to get it stopped.  So no more clearing house for me.

              I Agree!GREED......you are so right, no PCH for me, their pesky ads almost drove me bananas.

              Seek and ye shall find -Matt. 7:7 ...Ask and ye shall receive -John 16:24 ...Give and it shall be given unto you -Luke 6:38 ...Be careful what you ask for!!! -Mypiemaster 1:1

              Having Money Solves Problems That Not Having Money Creates Yes Nod ****John Carlton****

                realtorjim's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcT7U3t20NgScoPlxOqLT6TR0vQeJNBV3_tTswe1XeFDTsdw3NLZ

                United States
                Member #106923
                February 27, 2011
                478 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: September 5, 2015, 1:54 pm - IP Logged

                Hmmm... Kind of reminds me of the annoying ads right here on lottery post.  "YOU ARE A WINNER!  THIS IS NO JOKE!" .  I can't believe the Post allows such advertisement, but then there is that greed factor aforementioned... seems nothing is sacred.

                  I'm feeling a jackpot win coming my way!

                  Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

                  United States
                  Member #142499
                  May 13, 2013
                  1183 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: September 5, 2015, 3:28 pm - IP Logged

                  Reminds me of the movie Matchstick Men. They don't steal money, they're given money willingly

                  I might wake up early and go running.  I might also wake up and win the lottery.

                  The odds are about the same.

                    TnTicketlosers's avatar - Lottery-065.jpg

                    United States
                    Member #71120
                    February 19, 2009
                    1209 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: September 5, 2015, 3:39 pm - IP Logged

                    I am getting emails 10 times a day from scammers,my replay is  .......I dont understand.or Im rich enough you can keep the money.I love telling them off.

                      duckman's avatar - ducklogodrake64x64
                      Jacksonville Florida
                      United States
                      Member #23018
                      October 6, 2005
                      918 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: September 5, 2015, 3:53 pm - IP Logged

                      One simple rule: You should NEVER have to pay one single cent for anything you have won or that is advertised as free. If anyone says you have won something or says it is free, and you have to pay even one cent, then there is a 100% chance it is a scam.

                      While we are on the subject of scams, the second rule is: Treat ALL unsolicited emails and phone calls as scams.

                        zephbe's avatar - animal butterfly.jpg
                        South Carolina
                        United States
                        Member #77167
                        July 15, 2009
                        556 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: September 5, 2015, 4:04 pm - IP Logged

                        You would think that with all the news about lottery scams people would know you don't have to pay to collect a prize you won.  This is not new.

                          Bondi Junction
                          Australia
                          Member #57242
                          December 24, 2007
                          1102 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: September 5, 2015, 6:06 pm - IP Logged

                          How would you react if you heard, "Congratulations, your prize has been reserved!" over the phone?

                          The message is part of a sophisticated phone scam plaguing Central Texas, and is responsible for stealing millions of dollars from Americans each year.

                          Joann Keilberg and her husband Jim almost fell for it. The Smithville, Texas, couple received a call in July from someone claiming to work for Publishers Clearing House.

                          "I was happy," Keilburg said.

                          The caller said the won couple won $3.5 million and a new car. Then, the Keilbergs were instructed to call a phone number and were instructed to input a six-digit number exclusive to them.

                          "Congratulations, your prize has been reserved! Please proceed to event headquarters during event times to claim your prize," announced a recording after dialing the number.

                          The KVUE Defenders put it to the test, using several random six-digit numbers. Every combination tried worked. The Austin Better Business Bureau said that's a clear sign it's a scam.

                          "It really brings some legitimacy that you may in fact have won a prize," said Erin Dufner with Austin's BBB.

                          But, the Keilbergs still got in their car and headed to Wal-Mart. The caller said all they had to do was fill out a MoneyGram and wire $200 to a Jamaican address to pay for taxes on their prize.

                          Once they wired the money, the caller told the Keilbergs the prize patrol van would show up at their front door.

                          Before they did, the Keilberg's called the real Publishers Clearing House, which confirmed the calls were a scam.

                          While it may be difficult to believe people still fall for this fraud, a 2014 congressional report estimates Jamaican lottery scammers steal more than $300 million each year from U.S. citizens. An elderly woman in New Jersey committed suicide in 2014 after losing her life savings to the scammers.

                          "The issue is that they can be very difficult to find. They are asking people to wire money which is very difficult to trace and almost impossible to get back because it's almost like cash," Dufner said.

                          Law enforcement said to look-out for area "876" area codes. Those number are often associated with a call from Jamaica, where the scam originates.

                          'But, the Keilbergs still got in their car and headed to Wal-Mart. The caller said all they had to do was fill out a MoneyGram and wire $200 to a Jamaican address to pay for taxes on their prize.

                          Once they wired the money, the caller told the Keilbergs the prize patrol van would show up at their front door.

                          Before they did, the Keilberg's called the real Publishers Clearing House, which confirmed the calls were a scam.'

                           

                           

                          Did they really need to be told it was a scam? What have they got between their ears?

                          We all get a lot out of lotteries!

                            eddessaknight's avatar - nw paladin.jpg
                            LAS VEGAS
                            United States
                            Member #47729
                            November 22, 2006
                            4503 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: September 5, 2015, 6:16 pm - IP Logged

                            I Agree!

                            PALEEZEE...

                            "You can't cheat an honest man!"

                            ~W.C. Fields

                             

                            Eddessa_Knight  Sun Smiley