Cons are usually played out on TV sitcoms like cable channel TNTâ€™s critically- acclaimed Leverage. The Attorney Generalâ€™s Of fice of Gary King released a statement Monday warning consumers about a Goodwill Industries of New Mexico and Salvation Army sweepstakes scam making its rounds.
According to Kingâ€™s deputy director of communications, L ynn Southard, some are calling it the â€œgrandparentsâ€ scam. Hereâ€™s how it works: Unsuspecting seniors receive a call from a scammer posing as a representative for Goodwill Industries or The Salvation Army. Callers are told that they have won $800,000, but must pay an $800 fee to claim their winnings.
A consumer in Indiana who witnessed the scam, told the scam artists that she could not afford the $800 fee, so they offered her $3,100 of the money up-front. According to reports, the consumer was an unsuspecting elderly woman who took the $3,100 check to the bank, which happened to be a fake. â€œThey told her that she had won $800,000 from the sweepstakes,â€ Southard said. â€œIn order to get that money, she was going to have to send them $800. She told them that she didnâ€™t have $800.â€ This classic con plays on the good-hearted elderly of the community, who are seeking to give to charitable organizations over the holidays.
â€œThese are [charities] people usually give money to,â€ Southard said. â€œWe got this information out, because itâ€™s the holidays. Elderly folks that get these sort of calls…seem to be the ones that are hit [with the scam].
The scammers are smart.â€ If you feel like you have been conned or are a victim of the â€œgrandparentsâ€ scam, contact the attorney generalâ€™s of fice at (505) 222-5000. The attorney generalâ€™s of fice is also encouraging consumers to file a report with their local police department.