Elderly residents receive tips on avoiding scammers

Lottery scam

During a recent special presentation at the Metcalf Senior Citizens Center in Anaconda, MT, Anaconda Postmaster Tom Hansen and Postal Inspector Walt Tubbs discussed the dangers of foreign lotteries and sweepstakes scams. They informed the audience that no legitimate lottery or sweepstakes will ever ask for money in order for someone to receive his or her winnings.

Scammers may ask for an upfront payment to handle taxes or insurance, but they also might request a person’s social security number, bank account information, or other personal data that can be used against the target of the scam.

“Never give out your personal information to anyone you don’t know,” said Hansen during the presentation.

Hansen and Tubbs also warned the audience about the dangers of online classified ad scams. In it, the scammer offers to buy an item that a seller has listed on a site such as Craig’s List. The buyer sends the seller a check for more than the asking price of the item. The scammer then asks the seller to cash the check and wire back the difference. By the time the seller finds out the buyer’s check is a fake, the scammer already has the seller’s money.

The presentation at the Metcalf Senior Center provided attendees with the tools and knowledge they need to protect themselves against scams and how to report scammers to law enforcement.

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