FLAGSTAFF, AZ - The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office has been made aware of a new lottery phone scam that recently targeted an elderly woman from Doney Park.
The woman received a call in the morning from a man claiming to be from the Mega Millions Three State Lottery Company in Las Vegas.
He reportedly told her that she was the winner of $1.5 million and a new Lincoln Town Car through a sweepstakes that she was entered in by making a purchase at Wal-Mart.
The man told her that in order to receive her prize, she had to purchase $500 in money cards and give him the account information to cover processing and shipping for her prize.
After the woman did as she was told, she then became suspicious and called authorities to report the scam.
She is only one of the many victims of scams that occur on a daily basis.
Protecting yourself from scammers like these relies heavily on protecting your personal and financial information.
Scam artists often pose as telemarketers, credit card companies, volunteers or election officials who ask for private information, according to the Arizona State Attorney General’s Office.
They often ask to verify or confirm information to get you to surrender that information to them without providing any real evidence they are legitimate.
The best way to protect yourself is to ask for actual documentation from them and ask a lot of questions.
The Attorney General’s Office also says to check out the so-called company with the Better Business Bureau.
The most important rule is to never give out information until you are completely sure of the legitimacy of the company. Don’t release names, birth dates, personal numbers or any other information.
And don’t forget: scammers can come in all different forms, so beware of online sources, door-to-door salespeople and callers alike.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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