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 to stay up-to-date on the most recent types of fraud.