An Old Scam is Making the Rounds Again

Ofc. Teresa Fuller

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 11:59 a.m.

The Spokane Police Division has had a couple of these scams reported recently involving alleged sweepstakes winners.  A caller advises the victim that they have won a large reward but are required to pay fees or taxes prior to collecting.  There have been numerous victims across the country. The money typically ends up out of country, leaving us with little to investigate and prosecute.  The victims are usually elderly and in cases have been scammed out of thousands of dollars.


We would like citizens of Spokane to be aware of these scams and look for the warning signs when dealing with suspicious situations:

  • The sweepstakes agents are very persistent and continue to call even after making said tax payment. Agents will call back and say the previous 1st place winner did not qualify and that bumps them up to win the 1st place prize, meaning victim will have to pay out more taxes.
  • Many scam perpetrators make calls or send an email claiming to be with financial institution. For example, the scammer may say there's a problem with your bank or credit card account and ask you to verify the account numbers. If you get one of these calls, ask for a name and phone number of the institution and you can call back to be sure you are dealing with a legitimate financial institution. If you cannot verify that the request is legitimate, do not provide the information.

If you are the victim of fraud, report the incident to Crime Check, 456-2233.

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