Archive for the ‘Scams and \"lotteries\"’ Category

U.S. Department of SCAM

June 5, 2008

not-really-dot.GIFScammers don’t just target individuals. They go after businesses, too, just with different bait.

K.H. called to tell about a letter, purportedly from the U.S. Department of Transportation, that was faxed this week to her employer, a local electrical contractor.

The letter, signed by “James Buchanan, Senior Procurement Officer,” said the Fayetteville company was registered as a prospective contractor with DOT but, to be considered for any contracts, it first had to submit a financial information release form.

Ding, ding, ding! (Those are the warning bells that should go off any time you’re asked to provide access to such info, whether it’s yours, your employer’s, or that of any other person or entity to which you have access.)

(more…)

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Beware telephone calls from the “IRS,” too

January 30, 2008

Another warning from the IRS on scammers and some of their e-mail and phone-call tactics.

Do not give out your bank account information to someone who calls you out of the blue, even if he (or she) says he’s from the IRS, even if he mentions that magic word “rebate,” and even if he says you can’t get the rebate unless you give him that info.

He’s a liar. So’s she if it’s a she who’s calling.

The IRS doesn’t make anyone use direct deposit. If you choose to use direct deposit, you’d indicate it on your tax form when you sent that in and you’d include the appropriate routing information with your form.

That e-mail you got from the “IRS” about your refund?

January 30, 2008

It’s fake.

small-irs-logo.jpgDon’t respond. Don’t click on the link embedded in it. It’s an attempt to steal your personal info and you want no part of that.

Instead, you can forward the e-mail to the actual IRS. Or delete it and pat yourself on the back for being so smart. (more…)

*I* won a lottery, too — or so they say…

January 22, 2008

Q: I received a check in the mail for $999.20 along with a letter telling me I’d dollar-06-june.gifwon $150,000 in a sweepstakes lottery. The check is from Chase Manhattan Bank in Delaware, and it looks real. Is this a scam? — E.T., Fayetteville

A: Is it ever.

We’ve heard from lots of people who’ve received similar letters — and similar checks. Everyone’s a winner! Except they’re not. (more…)

Did I really win a lottery?!

January 22, 2008

Q: My daughter just received a letter from a lottery, saying she’d won $250,000, and they sent her a check for $1,950 to cover some fees. I called the company and they wouldn’t give me any really valid answers. Is this legitimate? — J.L., Fayetteville

A: See all that free money falling from the sky?money-from-sky.jpg

We don’t, either — because it’s not there. And it’s not there in the case of this alleged lottery prize. The folks who sent the letter are looking to lighten your daughter’s wallet, not add to it. (more…)

The IRS e-mailed me

January 22, 2008

irs.gifQ: What do you think of this e-mail from the “IRS” telling me I’m eligible for a tax refund? I’m just supposed to click on the link in the e-mail to give them more information. — D.S., Fayetteville

A: In this case, IRS stands for It’s Really a Scam.

Natch. You knew that.

(more…)

About these Nigerian-type e-mails…

January 22, 2008

Q: I’ve started getting e-mails again, sort of like the Nigerian e-mails that used to go out. They’re always from someone who’s supposedly going to give me lots of money. Should I report them? — S.H., Lumberton

A: Nah — not unless you’ve actually succumbed to temptation and not only responded to one of the e-mails, but been scammed out of some money as a result.

Please tell us you weren’t that naive. (more…)

The check looks real!

January 22, 2008

Q: I received a check in the mail for $999.20 along with a letter telling me I’d won $150,000 in a sweepstakes lottery. The check is from Chase Manhattan Bank in Delaware, and it looks real. Is this a scam? — E.T., Fayetteville

A: Is it ever.

We’ve heard from lots of people who’ve received similar letters — and similar checks. Everyone’s a winner! Except they’re not. (more…)