State Agency Warns 'Powerball Scam' Doesn't Have Typical Red Flags

By: WSAW Staff Email
By: WSAW Staff Email

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is warning Wisconsin resident about a Powerball scam.

The department says potential victims receive a phone call telling them they are eligible for unclaimed Powerball prizes and asking them to pick some numbers. Later, the callers contact the consumers again claiming that they won a third or fourth prize for millions of dollars and an automobile.

What sets these calls apart from traditional scams, however, is that these scammers are not asking for money to cover “taxes” or “fees” on the fictional prizes or for personally identifying information like Social Security numbers. Rather, they seem to be “casing” the consumers for future scams, asking them general financial questions about their investments and the values of their homes.

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) runs the state's lottery. DOR is aware of these calls and notes that the only time you would receive a call from the Lottery is if you have entered and won a Lottery "mail in" drawing.

Because these Powerball calls have not included the usual scam red flags of requests for money, sensitive personal data or bank or credit account numbers, it has been a challenge for the hotline staff to persuade consumers that the calls are fraudulent.

For additional information or to file a complaint, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at datcp.wisconsin.gov, send an e-mail to datcphotline@wisconsin.gov or call the Consumer Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.


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