It’s a near-urban legend scenario that’s grown all too familiar in the information age. Someone picks up the phone and discovers they’ve won a foreign lottery they never entered, and all they need to do is put up some money in advance for taxes to collect their windfall. This kind of thing is always a scam and seems too outlandish to be taken seriously, but when the con hits its marks, it hits hard.
The State speaks to an elderly South Carolina couple who depleted their six-figure savings account by paying lottery scammers over the past couple years.
The newspaper listened in on a phone call the couple received, from a man who identified himself as from the Federal Trade Commission, and the phone call went down like this:
“I got you a special, government-approved 24-hour extension,” Sam assures Lillie. “I know you’re a great person.”
Lillie wavers. Sam becomes more aggressive.
“You need to get this done, or you will throw away this opportunity of a lifetime. To win a contest like this is very, very rare. … Don’t throw this money away.”
Visit the real FTC site to file a complaint against a company that tries to pull one of these ruses on you or yours.
Lottery scams dupe thousands [The State]