Contact 13 Consumer Alert
Powerball lottery scam targeting Las Vegas residents
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - Scammers are trying to make their operation look more legitimate in hopes of getting more money from you. The latest one making the rounds offers a big pay off.
"We'll have to order balloons so that when you pick up your check we'll have a celebration," said Barbara Harris.
That party a caller told Barbara was because she just won $495,000 in the Powerball lottery. But before she could collect Barbara says the people claiming to be from the Powerball Commission told her she needed to do something.
"First you need to pay 1% of it which is $4,950," said Barbara.
Only problem is Barbara never played Powerball. Suspicious, she asked for some paperwork and a couple of days later got a fax. The documents ask for all sort of personal information, her bank account number, last four of her social security number and her date of birth. When Barbara didn't send the paperwork back, her phone wouldn't stop ringing.
"They call three or four times every day," explained Barbara.
Barbara knew no matter how legitimate the paperwork looked it wasn't real. So she emailed Contact 13 hoping to get the word out about this scam so others don't fall for it.
"This ought to be reported to an agency isn't this illegal," asked Barbara.
Contact 13 reached out to the real Powerball Commission who says this is a common scam. Officials say they get so many emails and calls asking this very question that there is a section on the web site for it. They say you never have to send money to collect a legitimate lottery prize. Barbara is telling her story in hopes others will follow her advice.
"When someone calls you out of the blue and gives you this kind of news just don't fall for it," said Barbara.
It's important to report these type of scams to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center. They're the ones who investigate them. So the more people that come forward helps the FBI get the word out.
Click here to visit the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.