Ways to avoid being taken by the lottery scam

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The promise of half a million dollars in lottery winnings will most likely get your attention.  That’s the hope of the scam artists trying to pull off one of the latest lottery cons.

The Better Business Bureau issued a warning this week about a new twist on a lottery scam.  Someone calls to congratulate you on winning $500,000, but the caller needs $5,000 for “delivery insurance.”

To convince you that it is legitimate, the caller directs you to the U.S. Consumer Protection Bureau website. The only problem is that the organization and the website are not legitimate.  The intended victim may call a number on that site to verify it, but the person who answers is also part of the con.

Here are some simple ways to protect yourself:

  • Don't pay to claim a prize. Be suspicious if you're asked to wire money or use a prepaid debit card.
  • Make sure the offer is real. Don't take the callers word for it.
  • Also, the only legal lotteries in this country are state-run.
  • Remember, you can't win a contest you didn't enter.
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