The Ocean City Police Department is warning citizens about a new phone scam in which someone claims to be a representative from a lottery company. In this scam, the caller tells the victim that before they can claim their prize they must pay a series of “transfer fees,” taxes or provide proof of their identity and/or details of their bank accounts or credit cards in order to receive their winnings.
The scammers, who require payment viaWestern Unionor MoneyGram, often obtain information about the victim to make the scam more believable. It is important to remember that scammers are able to easily access names and addresses of potential victims by spyware, viruses and other tools on the Internet.
The Ocean City Police Department is reminding citizens to beware of scams. In this instance, remember:
- You cannot win a legitimate lottery if you have not entered it.
- Never provide personal identity information to a company or person you do not know.
- Never wire funds viaWestern Union, MoneyGram or any other wire service to someone you do not know.
- Don’t pay to collect winnings. If you have to pay to collect your winnings, you are not winning, you are buying. Legitimate lotteries don’t require you to pay a fee to collect your prize.
- If you hold a winning lottery ticket, you notify the lottery. They do not notify you; not by email, not by phone and not by mail.