The Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office is warning people not to be fooled by the latest scam.
According to the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Eddie Langlinais, potential victims across the Acadiana area are receiving notifications via mail that they are the “lucky” winners of a sweepstakes prize money, and unfortunately Vermilion Parish residents are not immune to these scams.
Langlinais says that the latest scam that has surfaced in the parish most recently is in the form of a NORTH AMERICAN EAGLE SWEEPSTAKES SCAM indicating that you, the “potential victim” have been selected with a group of 10 lucky winners to receive the sum of $950,000.
Langlinais further stated that the enclosed a check, which is “fraudulent,” covers only the administrative payment and clearance fees of your winnings, and for authorizing and processing of your prize you must contact your agent at a specific phone number.
Langlinais also states that you must keep this information confidential until your funds are secured.
“This is a scam and residents are urged to be cautious when dealing with lottery or sweepstakes solicitations and should ignore all mail and phone solicitations for such promotions and should never give out their credit card or bank account information,” he said.
Here are a few simple scam prevention tips:
If you get an alleged award notification letter, several things become evident. The text is a very generic-sounding name.
You will then be congratulated on being the winner of a large amount of money, given a reference number, and asked not to make your winnings public until everything is finalized.
If at any time you should receive solicitations indicating that you must pay something for you to claim your prize, a red flag should come up.
Regardless of where the claim may originate, many of the contact representatives are of foreign descent.
Included with the letter will almost always be a legitimate-looking check, with an amount that can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
Many times, these checks may appear to come from well-known and/or Fortune 500 companies with wide name recognition, which may put you in a fake comfort zone.
Good common sense is the key to preventing you from becoming a potential victim, and if you feel that you may be the target of a potential scam, you are urged to contact your local law enforcement authority or the Better Business Bureau at 981-3497.
Finally, Langlinais says that “Nothing is free. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”