Scammers love to tap into national trends to put a new face on an old scam, and the “Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Equity Prize Draw” scam spotted by the Louisville, KY BBB is no exception.
The faxed scam says, “We are happy to info you that you have emerged a winner under the F&F EQUITY DRAW, which is part of a promotional draws organized by all crediting lending partners to enable home owners who owned a home all over the United States of America have more money, and at the same time buy more homes in the area where they live. The funds were drawn from part of the total Fifty Billion US Dollars ($50 Billion) release to the financial institutions and creditros by the Government and other donor nations who have so much interest and investments in the United States of America.”
Here’s the BBB’s report on investigating the scam:
After faxing my official “Equity Draw” information sheet to a number in Idaho, I called the 778 number and had the pleasure of speaking to “Jorge Marcelo”, at Fannie n Freddie Prize Headquarters. He said he had my fax right there in front of him, which is interesting since I never told him who I was nor did he ask. But he did tell me that to collect my big prize I was required to wire a “processing fee” of $850 to the Vegas address in my documents via Western Union, call him with the WU control number and then I could collect my riches.
Obviously I’m excited, so I invited the FBI to share in my excitement. I’m not sure if there’s anything here worth law enforcement pursuit, but that’ll be up to them. My guess is Jorge is probably not in BC, and that the WU office in Vegas will forward my $850 to another location, and it may be bounced several times.
Fraudsters have a core set of scams that they just keep putting new hats on old scams to fit the zeitgeist. Most of us wouldn’t fall for this iteration, rife with spelling and grammatical errors. But a few, like the desperate, elderly, ignorant, non-native-English-speaking, or some combination thereof, might. The scammers, will, however, try another variant on the lottery scam. For them, it’s all a numbers game, and their auto-dialers just keep ringing up one more.