Unique Powerball scam circling Wisconsin - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Unique Powerball scam circling Wisconsin

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Madison (WKOW)-- Scams come in many forms, over the phone, on the internet and by mail, but they all pretty much have the same red flags that tip people off. They're looking for money and your personal information. Those red flags are missing from a new scam that is going around the state.

Many consumers are calling the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection about an offer from the Powerball lottery that's just too good to be true.

"Consumers are getting phone calls out of the blue telling them that they are eligible for unclaimed winnings for the Powerball and they're asked to pick some numbers randomly," DATCP Senior Communication Specialist Jerad Albracht says.

Days or even weeks later the caller calls back and tells people they've won millions of dollars or a brand new car and the only information they ask is the value of your home and other investments for taxing purposes. They're not asking for money or for any other information. not money.

Workers at DATCP say when calls come in about this scam, they have a hard time convincing people that it is in fact a scam, because the scammers aren't asking for money and they're not asking for too much personal information. So when the people get this call, they think it sounds pretty legit.

The wisconsin lottery is aware of the scam and says they're not involved whatsoever. They say they as an entity will only call if you have entered and won a lottery "mail in" drawing. Officials say that if the call is suspicious you can always hang up and call the Wisconsin Lottery directly.

"You can always hang up. If you actually are a prize winner and you hang up you could call them back again and still be a prize winner," Albracht says.

State officials say the scammers are likely building profiles for potential victims that are either sold to other scammers or used to build trust. Eventually they will ask for money and personal information. If you receive a call you're asked to report it to the Department of Revenue or the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.


MADISON (WKOW) -- We've got you covered on a unique phone scam involving the Powerball lottery that is going around Wisconsin.

State consumer protection officials say a scammer will call a victim and tell them they are eligible for unclaimed Powerball prizes, and asks them to pick some numbers.
The scammer will call back later, claiming the victim won a prize worth millions, but instead of asking for money to cover fees, or personal information, the scammers ask general financial questions about the victims investments and home values.    
Officials with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection say, "If a consumer freely and eagerly answers the scammer's questions, that scammer now has two important pieces of information: the overall wealth of the consumer and a sense that the consumer will be an easy target and receptive target for future scams. These are valuable for scammers and may be sold and share among these criminals."
Officials say the only time you'd get a legit call from lottery officials is if you entered and won a "mail in" drawing.

If you get a call like this, and to file a complaint, send an email to datcphotline@wisconsin.gov or call 1-800-422-7128.

Reporter Gordon Severson's "Got You Covered" with reaction from state consumer and Powerball officials tonight on 27 News at 5, 6 and 10.


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