COLORADO SPRINGS — The Better Business Bureau has issued an alert about a text scam that’s making the rounds with the sender posing as some of the winners of the massive Powerball jackpots from this summer. News5 found out this could be impacting folks in southern Colorado.
Complaints are coming in one after another about these text messages telling people they’ve been “randomly selected” to receive money from a Powerball winner who wants to give back. But fraud experts say it’s just an attempt to lure people into giving up sensitive and personal information.
This summer the Powerball jackpot soared to record levels, even people who don’t normally play the lottery found themselves buying tickets. That includes Kathy who lives in Colorado Springs.
”And I usually don’t because I fill at the gas station and I usually don’t go inside, but I don’t know there’s just something about the lottery, everybody is going to win something someday they figure and that’s why these people get away with so much,” Kathy told News5.
So when she got a random text message appearing to be from one of the winners, it made her look twice.
”So you have been accidentally picked among the fortunate victors, those getting $100,000,” said Kathy as she read the text message from her phone.
The text even had a link to a legitimate news article about the lottery winners the scammers were claiming to be.
”People will try anything. You have to watch everything you do,” said Kathy. ”Anything that says you’ve won, I immediately delete it and report it as junk.”
Before responding to the text, she contacted News5.
”This is one of the better scam texts that I’ve seen and it’s more believable and there’s less mistakes than normal. So, somebody could really fall for it,” warned Kathy.
Fraud experts say it’s important she didn’t respond to the text because consumer complaints reveal the follow up text messages would be asking for personal information and then banking information for depositing the funds that don’t exist.
”There’s a lot of people out there that don’t have the money for this, they can barely eat, especially seniors and they would get hooked by this and it makes me feel good to know there’s someone looking out for us,” Kathy said.
Consumer investigators say they’ve seen these text messages circulating nationwide, but the phone numbers and references in the text messages are constantly changing to try to make them seem real. The best thing to do is to not respond and delete it.
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