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Lottery scam with a twist hitting Central Texas

Topic closed. 31 replies. Last post 1 year ago by PlayToWin47.

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Bondi Junction
Australia
Member #57242
December 24, 2007
1102 Posts
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Posted: September 5, 2015, 6:17 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.

This is why state lotteries should make it easier for people to play legitimate lotteries. It would also raise additional revenue for the states.

We all get a lot out of lotteries!

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    Maryland
    United States
    Member #162434
    January 2, 2015
    887 Posts
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    Posted: September 5, 2015, 8:54 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.

    did you let the authorities know about it?

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      Kentucky
      United States
      Member #32652
      February 14, 2006
      7308 Posts
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      Posted: September 5, 2015, 9:35 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.

      "Congratulations, you won a car and send us $200 to pay for taxes."  With a 6% sales tax, that's about a $3500 value car. And people fall for this?

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        Kentucky
        United States
        Member #32652
        February 14, 2006
        7308 Posts
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        Posted: September 5, 2015, 9:40 pm - IP Logged

        This is why state lotteries should make it easier for people to play legitimate lotteries. It would also raise additional revenue for the states.

        Easier to play???

        Players can purchase tickets at a gas pump in some states.

          Scratch$'s avatar - sm lottery.jpg

          United States
          Member #158848
          September 5, 2014
          294 Posts
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          Posted: September 5, 2015, 10:13 pm - IP Logged

          This Jamaican lottery scam has been going on for several years. You'd think everybody would be aware of it by now. 

          Like P.T. Barnum used to say - "There's a sucker born every minute."

          Another old saying that comes to mind is - "A fool and his/her money are soon parted."

          Scratchers ~ Cash 5 ~ Powerball ~ Mega Millions

            Avatar
            Simpsonville
            United States
            Member #163189
            January 22, 2015
            669 Posts
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            Posted: September 6, 2015, 2:58 pm - IP Logged

            Have you tried blocking them without opening the emails?  Many viruses jump onto those e-mails!

              waltoy's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
              Miami Garden Fl
              United States
              Member #103959
              January 7, 2011
              77 Posts
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              Posted: September 6, 2015, 11:16 pm - IP Logged

              PEOPLE need to stop the madness, PCH surprise you whenever you win, they never calls, so you know that is a scam,

              waltoy

                ttech10's avatar - blobdude
                Texas
                United States
                Member #92330
                June 5, 2010
                887 Posts
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                Posted: September 7, 2015, 8:35 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.

                To claim your grant(reward) just send $250 for processing and local taxes.

                I'll never understand why people don't ask themselves, Why can't they just withhold that money from my winnings/reward?

                I mean, if I went to the TLC on Wednesday with the winning MM ticket they wouldn't tell me to give them a couple million in taxes first. No, they take that out of what they'd give me.

                  KyMystikal's avatar - 1457224010054
                  Florence, Alabama
                  United States
                  Member #8658
                  November 13, 2004
                  1993 Posts
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                  Posted: September 7, 2015, 8:19 pm - IP Logged

                  To claim your grant(reward) just send $250 for processing and local taxes.

                  I'll never understand why people don't ask themselves, Why can't they just withhold that money from my winnings/reward?

                  I mean, if I went to the TLC on Wednesday with the winning MM ticket they wouldn't tell me to give them a couple million in taxes first. No, they take that out of what they'd give me.

                  Who would I notify?

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

                    HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                    United States
                    Member #72448
                    March 18, 2009
                    1228 Posts
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                    Posted: September 7, 2015, 8:31 pm - IP Logged

                    Perhaps, Scratch$, you don't understand the magnitude of how many people [aged 50-90] are contracting one of the 100 types of Dementia (e.g., Alzheimer's) around the world!  Once one has contracted the big D, it doesn't have a track record of going away; rather affecting additional sections of the brain.  What does go away -- within a few years -- are the diseased person's friends and acquaintances (and what level of commonsense they possess) ... because most folks with Dementia get verbally mean to EVERY BODY around them.

                    Coffee

                    Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                    Disney

                      Avatar
                      NY
                      United States
                      Member #23835
                      October 16, 2005
                      3474 Posts
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                      Posted: September 7, 2015, 10:27 pm - IP Logged

                      "What have they got between their ears?"

                      Jerk chicken?

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                        north carolina/virginia
                        United States
                        Member #2097
                        August 17, 2003
                        126 Posts
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                        Posted: September 7, 2015, 10:34 pm - IP Logged

                        Good point! I hadn't thought about it from that angle.

                          ttech10's avatar - blobdude
                          Texas
                          United States
                          Member #92330
                          June 5, 2010
                          887 Posts
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                          Posted: September 8, 2015, 9:58 am - IP Logged

                          Who would I notify?

                          Like to report them? I'd probably send the phone number(s) (and what the scam was about) to the FBI and FTC, both seem to claim they want that type of info.

                          https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

                          https://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud

                            Teddi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

                            United States
                            Member #142499
                            May 13, 2013
                            1182 Posts
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                            Posted: September 8, 2015, 1:35 pm - IP Logged

                            Perhaps, Scratch$, you don't understand the magnitude of how many people [aged 50-90] are contracting one of the 100 types of Dementia (e.g., Alzheimer's) around the world!  Once one has contracted the big D, it doesn't have a track record of going away; rather affecting additional sections of the brain.  What does go away -- within a few years -- are the diseased person's friends and acquaintances (and what level of commonsense they possess) ... because most folks with Dementia get verbally mean to EVERY BODY around them.

                            Coffee

                            Funny how people with dementia are usually paranoid and suspicious, and yet not a single one of these elderly people who fall for a lottery scam have had their suspicions aroused. So yeah, I'm not going to rely on the "those poor elderly people got swindled" fall back line. In their haste to get at the big bucks, they put away common sense and jumped in feet first. Being scammed isn't an age issue, race issue, or class issue. It's a greed issue. And that's why it works on so many people across so many societal lines.

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

                            The odds are about the same.

                              HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                              United States
                              Member #72448
                              March 18, 2009
                              1228 Posts
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                              Posted: September 9, 2015, 1:15 am - IP Logged

                              Funny how people with dementia are usually paranoid and suspicious, and yet not a single one of these elderly people who fall for a lottery scam have had their suspicions aroused. So yeah, I'm not going to rely on the "those poor elderly people got swindled" fall back line. In their haste to get at the big bucks, they put away common sense and jumped in feet first. Being scammed isn't an age issue, race issue, or class issue. It's a greed issue. And that's why it works on so many people across so many societal lines.

                              Well, Teddi, okey-dokey to going with what pulls you the most.  Certainly, though, increased greed/selfishness are also common from early stages of the Dementia disease.

                              Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                              Disney