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Consumers Warned About Sweepstakes

Eastern Washington and North Idaho residents should beware of calls from people promoting a fraudulent sweepstakes.

The scam targets elderly people, said Lisa Stephens, president of the Spokane chapter of the Better Business Bureau.

“One woman was told she’d win $78,000,” Stephens said.

Callers tell people they’ve won the sweepstakes, then request hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of dollars in taxes on their winnings. The taxes must be paid before the prize can be collected, the callers claim.

Stephens said people have been called in Wenatchee, Spokane and North Idaho in the past few days.

Legitimate sweepstakes winners are not informed by phone, Stephens said. They’re also not required to pay anything in order to claim the prize, she added.

People who have received such calls recently should contact the Better Business Bureau at 455-4200 or 800-356-1007.

, DataTimes

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