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Update: Notice about possible “sweepstakes” scam

Last month we told you about a possible sweepstakes scam and while we continue to investigate, we wanted to update you about a new twist.

Originally, we learned of:

      “…phone calls about a sweepstakes offer from the CFPB. The CFPB did not make these calls or direct others to make these phone calls on our behalf.

These phone calls may be malicious. To minimize the risk this type of call may present, we suggest if you receive such a call you do not provide any personal, consumer, or commercial information.”

According to tips from alert consumers, callers are now saying they will send checks worth up to $1.5 million, if the consumer will pay “taxes” to the caller. If the consumer says they can’t or won’t pay the taxes, the caller will offer to find a “sponsor” to pay the taxes. None of this is true.

The CFPB does not host sweepstakes and will never ask you to send us money in exchange for us sending you money in return.

A popular model for scams is to trick the intended victim into cashing a fraudulent check in order to send a portion to a scammer. We continue to stress that you should not provide any personal, consumer, or commercial information to the caller.

If you receive suspicious calls related to the CFPB, please call us directly at (855) 411-CFPB and let us know. Your tips, like the one that led to this update, help us stay on top of how consumers are being targeted.

Chris Willey is the CFPB’s Chief Information Officer.

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