HIALEAH, Fla. – Hialeah police say scammers have been targeting the elderly, stealing money from them after telling the victims they have won the lottery.
According to police, the scammer tells the victim that he is undocumented and cannot collect the winnings, so he asks the victim to call the claim number written on the back of the winning ticket and promises to share the money with them.
But authorities said the phone number is actually that of an accomplice posing as a lottery agent.
The victim is told to pay a fee or some taxes with the promise that when they go to claim the prize they will get double or triple of what they have spent.
Authorities said it is a major red flag if someone asks you to pay a fee or taxes before receiving a lottery prize or if they ask you to complete a money transfer or withdraw any money from your bank account.
Police say people can avoid becoming a victim by declining to give any personal information or money to anyone who asks for it who they do not know.
Anyone who falls victim to a similar scam is asked to call 911 immediately and to report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.