BRYAN - For the second time in two weeks, the Better Business Bureau of the Brazos Valley says two women have been scammed by a caller saying they had won major cash prizes.
According to the BBB, the first call happened May 5 when an anonymous caller told a local elderly woman that she had won $1.5 million, but she first had to wire $1,800 through Western Union to get her prize. It wasn't until a few days later that the BBB says the woman realized she was scammed.
The BBB says another woman received a similar call Friday and also wire transferred $1,800 through Western Union.
"We talk about the Red Flags of a scam all the time," said Bill McGuire, President of the BBB of the Brazos Valley. "The first one in this example is that a total stranger is calling you out of the blue about a sweepstakes you never entered. The second Red Flag is when you are told to wire funds to the stranger before you can receive the sweepstakes money. If Western Union is involved, it is likely to be a SCAM!"
BBB offers these tips to avoid this from happening to you:
1. You cannot win a sweepstakes you did NOT enter. Hang up the phone.
2. If a STRANGER tells you to wire them money, hang up the phone. It's a scam.
3. If Western Union or a Green Dot Money card is the form of payment requested, hang up the phone; it is a scam.
4. If you have a computer, go to bbb.org and enter your zip code and hit enter. Hover the cursor over Get Consumer Help, then click on Scam Source. Under Related, click on Top Scams, then click on Sweepstakes & Lottery and read the warning.
5. If you are still holding out hope that this is real, tell the stranger you'll have to call them back and ask for their number, then call BBB. If you cannot get through to us, call someone you trust. This could be a friend or relative, your attorney, or a policeman.
6. If you do hang up, you will have saved your money and not been duped by a scam artist. Be smart and hang up. Then call BBB and report what happened, so we can warn the community.