Translate Our Site

“You’ve Won” Scams

Information about “You’ve Won” Scams.

How It Works

You get a card, a call, or an email telling you that you won! Maybe it’s a trip or a prize, a lottery or a sweepstakes. The person calling is so excited and can’t wait for you to get your winnings.

But here’s what happens next: they tell you there’s a fee, some taxes, or customs duties to pay. And then they ask for your credit card number or bank account information, or they ask you to wire money.

Either way, you lose money instead of winning it. You don’t ever get that big prize. Instead, you get more requests for money, and more promises that you won big.

How to Prevent It

  • Keep your money — and your information — to yourself. Never share your financial information with someone who contacts you and claims to need it. And never wire money to anyone who asks you to.

If you lost money you should act immediately:

If you sent money what can you do?

  • Call the gift card or debit card company immediately. The contact number is on the back of the card. If reported immediately, you may be able to stop the transfer of funds, otherwise it may not be possible to stop the funds from being withdrawn. It is also important to alert the card company of fraud.
  • If you sent cash, report it immediately to the postal service or whatever company you used. If you act quickly you may be able to stop delivery by giving the tracking number to the delivery company.
  • If you wired the money, contact the wire service company and report the fraud.
  • If you provided your bank account information or sent a check, contact you financial institution and place a stop payment on the check and alert them to fraud.
  • Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission: Report Now