Sweepstakes Scam Foiled In Cherokee County - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/4/03 - Cherokee County

Sweepstakes Scam Foiled In Cherokee County

Doyle Gober was excited. Someone was on the phone telling him he had just won $1.2 million dollars. That excitement turned to suspicion, though, when the caller said he would need to pre-pay the taxes, totaling $1800. Not wanting to lose out on a good thing, Gober called his bank. They told him they would front the money if it was legitimate. All he had to do was call in with the bank and check number on the million dollar check so they could verify it, then they would release the money. Gober told the caller what the bank said. He never heard from them again.

"I've heard it on TV where people got scammed off putting roofs on a house, different things like that, so why can't they do it with money," said Gober.

Kay Robinson from the Better Business Bureau isn't surprised. She's seen this kind of thing before. She says most reputable sweepstakes companies will notify winners through certified mail.

"They never, never call," said Robinson. "That's a big red flag when you get a phone call and somebody says you've won. Now, the biggest red flag of all is when they ask you for money to win a prize. If you've won, you win."

Reader's Digest says if you receive a phone call saying you've won a prize, just ask one simple question: "Is it free?" If now, hang up.

They also say, never give your credit card number, or personal information to claim a prize. And, if you think you are the target or victim of a fraud, report it at once. Call the Better Business Bureau, or even the police.

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