It’s the phone call from a stranger who claims your relative is in trouble and needs cash or an email that says you’ve won a prize for a contest you never entered. These are tell-tale signs you’re being scammed. As part of National Consumer Protection Week, MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI), a leading global money transfer and payment services company, is educating consumers on how to spot fraud.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans lost an estimated $1.6 billion dollars in fraud related crimes in 2013. To help consumers keep their hard earned money out of the hands of fraudsters, MoneyGram is warning them to watch out for these five signs they are being targeted by scam artists.
You Hit the Jackpot!
You receive an email or phone call stating you won a prize but you must pay fees before receiving it. This is the Sweepstakes Scam. No legitimate sweepstakes will ask for money up front. You should never send money to receive money!
The IRS is Looking for You
You get a phone call claiming you owe “back taxes” and will be arrested if you don’t transfer money fast. This is a scam. Remember, the IRS typically contacts people by mail, not by phone. The agency will never ask for payments via a wire transfer or ask for a credit card number over the phone.
Your Relative is in Trouble
You get a phone call from a person claiming to be a friend or family member in trouble who needs cash quickly. This is the “person in need scam” also referred to as the “grandparent scam.” Don’t send the money unless you can verify with your friend or family member that the story is true.