What You Need to Know About Telephone Mail Fraud

What You Need to Know About Telephone Mail Fraud

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What You Need to Know About Telephone Mail Fraud

Perpetrators of elder fraud contact their targets in many ways, with the most common being by telephone or mail messages. By using these two platforms, criminals can hide their identity from their victims. Certainly, there are many ways that telephone fraud and mail fraud may be conducted. However, the main message that virtually every scam copies that the person who receives the message has won a prize or cash winnings.

The "winner" is then instructed to follow a list of steps to take in order to access his or her prize, which usually includes him or her sending some kind of fee or tax as a processing or holding charge. If the chosen target follows these instructions and sends money or bank account information, he or she will likely not receive his or her "winnings" and fall victim of telephone fraud or mail fraud instead. 

Those in charge of telephone fraud schemes contact people at random who are listed in a phone book. These criminals continue to solicit the person who answers the phone until they can hook him or her into believing their sales pitch, convincing the individual that he or she has randomly been selected to receive a cash prize or some other reward.

Dangling a large sum of money in front of people looking to make money quickly can prove quite an effective tool for schemers. People who have been found most likely to fall victim of these scams are young adults and elderly persons. Elders who are afraid of not having enough money to last them or pass on to their families will be yet more likely to believe these instances of telephone fraud. 

Mail fraud is very similar to telephone fraud in that defrauders will announce to targets that they have won a sweepstakes or lottery with a large prize that needs to be collected. Most of these mail messages will come from organizations or companies with names that seem very similar to large, well-known organizations designed to try to confuse their targets by seeming like legitimate companies. Of course, by doing this, people will be more likely to believe that they have won.

These fraudulent plans will instruct their "winners" to send money or bank account information to an off-shore or out-of-country bank, telling them that by paying a processing fee or tax, it will allow them to have access to their large sum of winnings and that the fee will be reimbursed.

These criminals will receive this "fee" into their account and then cease any communication with their target. Telephone fraud and mail fraud scammers will pressure their targets into quickly sending the fees by saying their offer will expire or that they will lose out on their prize. 

Being pressured into acting on a prize is one sign that an individual could be in the crosshairs of a telephone or mail fraud plan. Other signs to look out for: 

Not recognizing the sweepstakes, lottery or competition the powers-that-be claim one has won. You can not win a competition if you have not entered.

 Suspicious organization name. If they sound too familiar, check trusted resources and do research.

Being required to pay a processing fee for winnings. More than likely these fees will be kept and no prize will be sent, especially if there is a P.O. box or out-of-country bank involved.



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