The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


June 4, 2014

There is no lottery or prize involved in phony contest sent to Enid area

ENID, Okla. — If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

That simple phrase is something we all need to remember, especially when we get an offer via the telephone, email or in snail mail.

Recently, a lottery scam has impacted the Enid area. People have received mail that includes a check for $4,350 and notification that they have won a prize in a lottery or sweepstakes. The check sent via mail was to cover the processing fee for the $250,000 prize.

Guess what? It’s a scam. There is no lottery and no prize. If you never heard of the lottery, you didn’t enter it and you didn’t win. Anyone trying to cash the check provided would put their banking information — and money in you account — at risk.

You can help protect yourself by following some simple rules:

• Obtain a salesperson’s name, business identity, telephone number, street address, mailing address and business license number before you transact business. Some scammers give out false names, telephone numbers, addresses and business license numbers. Verify the accuracy of these items.

• Obtain and retain all offers in written form, but beware — not everything written down is true.

• Before you send money, ask yourself a simple question. “What guarantee do I really have that this solicitor will use my money in the manner we agreed upon?”

• Beware of solicitors asking you to send money, unless you know the person or business with whom you are dealing.

• Don’t pay for a “free prize.” If a caller tells you the payment is for taxes, he or she is violating federal law.

• Be very careful about the kinds of people to whom you disclose personal information, such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth or Social Security numbers.

• Banks never contact you asking for account numbers.

But, above all, follow the simple rule: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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