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BBB warns of Powerball text scam circulating in central Ohio

The BBB had received numerous complaints about fraudulent texts stating that a Powerball winner would like to “give back to 40 lucky persons.”
Credit: BBB of Central Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio has issued a warning of a new scam making rounds in the area.

The BBB had received numerous complaints about fraudulent texts stating that a Powerball winner would like to “give back to 40 lucky persons.”

In reality, the BBB says it’s just an attempt to lure people into revealing personal information.

The BBB’s Director of Consumer Relations and Investigations Lee Anne Lanigan said this scam has circulated before but there’s a variation this time

“Usually, this type of scam uses the same names in their solicitation.  This time, the scammers are changing names referenced in their texts, as well as possibly changing the phone number it’s coming from,” Lanigan said.

This change may make the text seem more authentic.

“In this case they are asking for your name and address. If the victim responds, it’s likely the next request will be for a bank account number to deposit funds,” Lanigan said. “But it will never actually be deposited.”

The BBB is reminding people to protect themselves from lottery scams by doing the following:

  • Be suspicious of irregular communications, especially via text, email, or phone.
  • Don’t provide money or information to people that you don’t know or that promise you money in exchange. You will never have to pay upfront fees to claim a prize.
  • If you are asked to prove your identity, it’s a scam.
  • Always report scams to law enforcement or BBB Scam Tracker.

If you are unsure of something that could possibly be a scam, you can contact the BBB of Central Ohio at 614-486-6336.

You can also report suspicious activities to the BBB Scam Tracker or sign up for Scam Alerts.

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