According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), people of the Mid-South should remain wary of phone calls from the Consumer Protection Bureau (CPB) claiming they’ve won money. Their website, http://uscpb.com, claims they were recently founded to monitor and direct financial matters in our nation.
However, according to Randy Hutchison, president and CEO of BBB of the Mid-South, the actual agency in charge of that is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and this scammer agency is just playing off of their name.
A Memphis man contacted the BBB after his mother claimed she received a phone call telling her she won $500,000.
“She does like to enter sweepstakes, but this just sounded fishy,” he told BBB. “The more I looked into it, the more it sounded like a scam.”
The caller told the woman that it was not a scam, giving her a website address to check out. The man also assured her that he didn’t want any banking information or for her to remit any payment to them, which is a common sweepstakes scam tactic.
BBB staff called the number on the website, pretending to have received a call. The BBB representative was told he or she was the 2nd place winner in the Holiday Sweepstakes out of Las Vegas, NV and needed to send $5,250 to claim winnings of $525,000 because of delivery insurance.
This is an obvious scam and the BBB offers the following tips to not fall victim:
There is no legitimate reason for someone sending you money to ask you to send them money first. You should never have to pay any money or buy any products to receive a prize.
Never wire money to claim a prize. Once sent, it’s extremely hard to trace and even harder to recover
Never provide prepaid card numbers or information to someone you don’t know. Scammers are turning to prepaid cards more and more these days as their chosen payment method since they don’t have to show up anywhere to claim the funds.
Remember that you must enter to win. If you didn’t purchase a lottery ticket or enter the sweepstakes, you probably aren’t the lucky winner.
The only legal lotteries in the US are the official state-run lotteries. Foreign lotteries are illegal.
If you’re more vulnerable to fall for these scams because of the promise of money, is it due to a lack of money and inability to sufficiently pay your bills? If you’re in debt, there’s a better solution than falling for these scams or even relying on the lottery to resolve your problems.
You should consider filing for bankruptcy. By filing for bankruptcy, you can either discharge your debt through a Chapter 7 or lump all your debt into an affordable 3-5 year repayment plan through a Chapter 13.
You shouldn’t be scared of a bankruptcy either. Once the process is complete, you have a fresh financial slate to re-establish your credit and rebuild it the right way. At Darrell Castle & Associates, we have a great 14 week program to help you with this called “7 Steps to a 720.”
If you have any questions or if you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, contact us by filling out the “Get in Touch” form below or by calling us at (901) 327-2100. One of our experienced Memphis bankruptcy attorneys will be happy to discuss your situation with you, free of charge.