Spotting the difference between real giveaways and scams

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 5:56 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Better Business Bureau is warning people not to fall victim to fake prize offers or false giveaways. Jo-Ann Deal with the BBB of Northeast Louisiana says these scams are rampant around the area and they’ve had a lot of calls over the last few weeks.

“Quite often someone will reach out to you on social media claiming to be your sister-in-law your brother-in-law or, in one case, another farmer in another part of the parish who have gotten some kind of grant or offer that you need to also take advantage of,” explains Deal. “If there is a strange wording in these messages or if there’s misspelled words or English structure that’s not normal for our area or even for standard English, this is a red flag.”

She says it can be confusing because some offers are real, like the Publisher’s Clearing House giveaway. But, she says if someone calls you out of the blue it’s probably not real.

“However the prize giveaway process does not include a personal phone call or you are told to go to a specific store and buy a particular credit card/gift card or give out your bank account, or even you’re required to pay,” explains Deal.

If you get any postcards or other mail with phone numbers on them, Deal advises you not to reach out until you’ve verified it’s a trustworthy program.

“You should vet the number before you call it, not afterwards. The ‘Do Not Call’ registry is designed to protect you. Scammers are not required to use the do not call registry because they’re not real businesses,” says Deal.

You can call the BBB of Northeast Louisiana at (318) 387-4600.

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