(PRWEB) June 15, 2011
NumberInvestigator.com warns consumers that criminals are deceptively masquerading as the BBB, telling victims they have won a lottery in an attempt to steal thousands of dollars from people who think that they have hit the jackpot. Up to $80,000 has been lost by individuals who have been contacted over the phone by people who pose as BBB employees. The “employee” then tells the victim that they have won a lottery and in order to receive the prize they must first wire money. Unfortunately for the victims, the money is directly wired to the scammers.
“Many people are struggling in the current economy and when someone tells you that you’ve won millions in a lottery, it can seem like an answer to prayer,” said Steve Cox, President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “Every year, tens of thousands of people contact BBB about a suspicious lottery and instead of cashing in, many lose thousands of dollars they don’t have.”
NumberInvestigator.com arms consumers with a variety of resources to help them avoid falling victim to scams such as these. The BBB reminds consumers that the organization does not run a lottery or award prizes. Consumers who receive a call from a person claiming to be an employee of the BBB should consider the following tips to avoid becoming a victim themselves.
● Collect information from the caller. Ask for a full name, contact phone number, and address. Use NumberInvestigator.com to do a reverse-phone search for the 10-digit number that called.
● Confirm facts with the organization itself, whether it is the Better Business Bureau or another organization. Use contact information found on the organization’s website.
● Do not reply to phone numbers or Web links provided by the “employee”
● Don’t fall for a check, they often times turn out to be fake. The scammers send the check with instructions to deposit the check and wire back a portion to cover fees or taxes. The check may initially clear, but most often turns out to be fake. The wired money is taken out of the victim’s account and is sent to the scammer.
● Don’t pay money to get money. Scammers are successful at convincing victims to pay money up front. Do not comply.
Numberinvestigator.com is a leading provider of reverse phone lookup services that enable consumers to simply search a number, including cell numbers (where available), landline numbers and VoIP to accurately find the owner of that number.