BBB Warns of Phone Scheme

Another wave of scams has hit

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The Better Business Bureau of Dallas says it has received complaints about a telephone sweepstakes scheme.

    The Better Business Bureau of Dallas says it has received complaints about a telephone sweepstakes scheme.

    The organization said such phone scams come in waves and often target elderly people.

    "The Better Business Bureau does regularly receive calls from people who say they get these calls saying they've won a prize or lottery or sweepstakes of some kind," said Jeannette Kopko, a BBB of Dallas spokeswoman.

    Phone Scam Warning

    [DFW] Phone Scam Warning
    The Better Business Bureau says it has received reports of telephone schemes that promise victims a big money prize.

    Ed Vernon said he at first thought he was having the luckiest day of his life when he received a call that he had won a $450,000 sweepstakes.

    "He said he was with the Federal Trade Commission," Vernon said. "Well, that's an official commission, so I thought, 'Well, this must have real meaning to it.'"

    Kopko said that is a red flag.

    "None of these agencies, not the custom service, IRS, Federal Trade Commission, BBB or any of them call people and ask them to send money to get something," she said Jeannette Kopko.

    Vernon's daughter, Ellen Kissinger, said she wasn't convinced by the call and wanted to speak to the caller, too.

    "She just blatantly said, 'He has won this money -- this $450,000 is his,'" she said. "It's tax-free, totally tax-free, and all he has to do is wire through Western Union this $2,850 to an individual in New Jersey."

    But Vernon didn't take the bait. He said he is relieved he didn't fall for the scheme, but knows how easy it would be to fall for it without the help he had.

    "I could see in my mind all the things that the half million dollars could do for me," he said with a laugh. "That's what closed my mind to all the little things that were alerting me to this being a bogus call."