Scams of the Week: Too good to be true edition

A complex Powerball scam is spreading in Wisconsin

The idea of winning a fortune can lead many people right into a scammers trap, even if the winning seems too good to be true.

Right now there is a complex scam involving Powerball that shows scammers are getting more patient when trying to rip you off.  This Powerball scam is a tough one, because it doesn’t rip you off right away.  It starts as a run-of-the-mill phone scam.  Someone calls you up saying you are eligIble for unclaimed prizes and asks you to pick random numbers.  They call back and say you won.

But here’s where things change, they don’t ask for a Social Security Number or any fees or taxes up front like a normal scam.  All they are doing is trying to get information from you that will help in a future scams.  They ask general financial information and info about investments.  That way, the next scammer who calls has info about you and sounds more credible.

One way to protect yourself is to remember, you can’t win a contest that you didn’t enter.  Also, the Department of Revenue runs the state lottery, they say the only time you’ll receive a phone call from the Lottery is if you have entered and won a lottery “mail in” drawing.

Every week we ask viewers to send us in any scams they’ve received, one viewer sent us not only details on a phone scam, but the phone number that goes with it.

Carol in West Salem received a call with a familiar scam that we covered a couple weeks ago.  It’s a person calling up alerting Carol to problems with her computer and promising to help fix it.  We know now that it’s just a scam to infect your computer.

Carol was alert enough to write down the number from Caller ID.  A quick check of the number shows it’s being used all over the country for a scam.  We gave them a call, a recording says the number is not available.  That’s not uncommon and is further proof of a scam.

A reminder, no one will call you out of the blue with knowledge of a virus on you computer.

We received dozens each week and we want to bring as many to light as possible.  If you would like to share your scam with us, you can email us at  Please include a copy of the scam.

You can also leave a message on our News8000 Facebook page.

You can report the scam to the Consumer Protection Bureau website.