Monday, February 15, 2010

Warn your association members about scams.

Over the past few years, tens of millions of dollars in Florida have been lost in a scam primarily run by con artists using bogus or altered Lottery tickets.

There’s almost always a sad story, there’s almost always a pressing reason, and there’s almost always some sort of "verification" over the phone.

Not surprisingly, these scams tend to target Florida’s elderly population. Most highly functioning associations perform a number of community services for their membership. Financially healthy members equate to a financially healthy community. If your community has an in-house cable channel, a website or a newsletter please let your folks know that “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Please advise your members that if they receive one of these calls or emails, they should call the police, and give them a description.

How does the con work, and what do you need to know to avoid it? The Most Common Scams and the truths refuting them are:

“This is a winning ticket, but I need money to claim it. If you help me with the upfront money, I’ll share the jackpot with you.”

The truth: once the ticket is bought, no money is EVER required to claim a prize.

“I can’t cash in my winning Lottery ticket because I’m not a U.S. citizen.”

The truth: you don’t have to be a U.S. citizen to claim a lottery prize.

“Let’s call the Lottery. They’ll tell us this is a winning ticket.”

The truth: winning tickets are never confirmed over the phone. The person on the phone is just a part of the scam.

“We need to hurry! I need to get back to my family – it’s an emergency!”

The truth: the thieves are trying to rush you so you don’t have time to think or call for advice or help.

If you would like more information to protect your most vulnerable community members, you can visit

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