Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Warns of Lottery Scam

, head of the Office of Older Americans, Consumer Financial Protection Burea, is warning seniors that her name is being used in an elaborate imposter scam. An imposter scam happens when a criminal tricks you by claiming to be someone you trust. In this case, the scammers are claiming to be Canan to steal older Americans’  money.

This scam has four basic parts:

  • You receive a call notifying you that you’ve won a lottery or sweepstakes prize. Several other calls will follow.
  • One of these calls may come from an imposter claiming to be Stacy Canan, or another CFPB or U.S. government agency official who confirms that you’ve won the prize.
  • Later, you’re told that in order to collect the prize, you must pay the taxes upfront.
  • You send the money to pay the taxes and never hear from any of the callers again.

Scams like the above can happen on the phone, through the mail, e-mail, or over the internet. They can occur in person, at home, or at a business. Here are some common signs:

  • You are told you won a sweepstakes or drawing that you did not enter.
  • You’re asked to pay upfront taxes or fees.
  • You’re being pressured to act now. Scammers don’t want you to take the time to do research or to think too carefully before parting with your money.
  • A person claiming to be a government official contacts you to confirm your winnings—the CFPB does not contact consumers about sweepstakes winnings.

Learn more about protecting yourself from financial scams or check the FTC’s website to stay up-to-date on the most recent types of fraud.

Read more at the CFPB blog.