Roy, Utah — The scammers have certainly become more sophisticated over the years. Americans lose billions to cyber crooks every year. So, it can be relatively easy for us to forget that some scammers are still sending letters to their targets via old-fashioned US mail. Indeed, a new letter is appearing in the mailboxes of Utahns. If you handle it wrong, it could cost you thousands of dollars.
“Don’t get me started, Matt,” Larry Thompson told us upfront.
Thompson was excited because he personally knows three people who got scammed after receiving a letter similar to the one he just received.
“I saw the sadness, disappointment and desperation of being sucked into these types of scams,” he said.
The letter he received congratulated him on winning $250,000 – a prize for shopping at one of his partner stores. The letter was accompanied by a check for $2,765.50 — to help Thompson cover the costs, the letter says. For further instructions on claiming his “winnings,” Thompson should call.
So we did.
” How are you sir ? asked the representative.
“I’m fine, I just found out I won $250,000! »
Federal Trade Commission data shows scams are getting more expensive, with consumers losing more than $5.8 billion to fraud last year, up more than 70% from the previous year. Scams have, indeed, become more sophisticated, with “impostor scams” topping the list. This is where the scammer targets you directly, pretending to be someone you know. Still, old-fashioned email scams with fake checks remain a favorite of scammers. “Prizes, sweepstakes, and sweepstakes” was the third most common scam reported to the FTC.
“I’m a reporter for a television station in Salt Lake City,” I told the rep. “And I think you’re an impostor and I’m calling to find out if you’re an impostor…”
— Matt Gephardt KSL-TV (@KSLGephardt) October 17, 2022
In this case, the guy on the phone told me he wasn’t a scammer and then hung up on me – something people running a legitimate business probably wouldn’t do.
Attribution letters like this are usually sent in hopes that someone will hand over personal and banking information so the bad guys can steal their money.
Larry Thompson was not fooled. His hope in calling Get Gephardt is to do what he can to make sure others don’t fall for it.
“I want you to spread the word that this is floating again.”
If you receive a fraudulent letter like this, the best thing to do is not to respond. You can also report it to the FTC or FBI.
You can also report it to Get Gephardt and I’ll help spread the word. Call 385-707-6153 or email [email protected]