WEB EXCLUSIVE: New scam: Canadian lottery and sweepstakes
Rockford residents are currently being targeted for a Canadian lottery and sweepstakes scam.
The scam begins when the victims receive a call from subjects representing themselves as U.S. Treasury officers or U.S. Customs officers. The callers are willing to spell their names and leave a badge number along with a telephone number, which makes the calls sound legitimate. When victims attempt to call the number given, they generally get a busy signal. These numbers appear as private or unknown caller on caller identification displays.
The victims are told they have won a substantial amount of money and are then asked to send either a small or large sum of money to cover U.S. Customs charges or for taxes on the winnings. The caller explains that a Western Union confirmation number is required before their representative or armored car service can deliver the checks or prize money.
When the callers are questioned, they simply confirm previous instructions, repeating that their policy requires the money to be sent by Western Union.
The names of potential victims are purchased from mass marketing companies or obtained because they have participated in other similar lottery scams.
Citizens should be extremely cautious about the legitimacy of any calls regarding lotteries or sweepstakes they have not entered.
Any questions regarding this scam should be directed to Sgt. Michael Booker of the Rockford Police Deptartment Community Services Unit at 987-5041.