I have amazing news!!! I just won the lottery!! I can’t believe it, what are the odds?!Â The greatest thing is I didn’t even know I was entered!Â
Sound too good to be true? Guess what, it is.Â I can’t tell you how many people fall for these lottery scams.Â Wonder how it works?
- You receive a check in the mail made out for a gazillion dollars!
- The letter included informs you that you won some sort of lottery or prize fromÂ Nigeria or some foreign country.
- You are instructed to send them money to pay for shipping, transfer, holding, etc.
- You deposit the check in your account, which is returned NSF a few days later.Â
- You lost the money you sent, the fee’s your bank charges, and could be arrested for depositing a fraudulent check.Â
There are those that truly don’t realize that they are being scammed, and then there are those who think they can scam the scammer.Â For those who don’t know, they usually lose the money and are out of luck.Â Â Those who know it’s probably a scam generally open a new account to deposit the check.Â The check will usually come back NSF, and they are charged a fee by the bank.Â I especially love these people.Â They love to pass the blame to the bank, and demand that the bank reverse the charges.Â If the bank looked into the matter, they should close all the accounts that the customer has, as well as report the incident to regulators.Â Depositing a fraudulent check into your account is illegal!
They may be after more than just the ‘transfer’ or ‘tax’ fee.Â A lot of these scams ask you to send a copy of your driver’s license, passport, or some sort of identification.Â They may ask you to sign a W9 form which is for tax purposes.Â This form would have your social security number on it.Â Do you know where I’m going with this?
The next day you receive a call from your credit card company asking if you purchased 5 large screen tv’s.Â Uhhh…No.Â They also ask if you made a $3000 purchase at an online site that sells electronics.Â GULP…NO.Â How about the $1200 of gas in St. Louis?Â NO!!Â
Next, you call one of the credit reporting agencies to make sure there isn’t anything else going on.Â You get your credit report, and see that you have a few new credit cards and two new bank accounts.Â
ItÂ can take weeks or even months to fix all the issues that are caused by identity theft.Â Here are theÂ four C’sÂ you need to take if you have been a victim of identity theft.
- Contact the police – file a police report
- Contact all three credit reporting agencies – place a fraud alert on your file
- Close all accounts that have possibly been tampered with
I hope this helps anyone out there that receives a check in the mail from someÂ lottery you supposedly won.Â Â I really hope you read this before you QUIT YOUR JOBÂ and book a one way ticket to the Bahamas.Â If I was too late, then I am sorry.Â Enjoy the ocean and have aÂ piÃ±aÂ colada for me.