CFPB warns of ‘sweepstakes’ scam

June 12, 2012 – A telephone scam that emerged last month holding out a “sweepstakes” offer from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has since evolved and promises payments up to $1.5 million after the consumer pays “taxes.”

The CFPB issued a notice in May and again last week warning consumers not to be fooled. “The CFPB does not host sweepstakes and will never ask you to send us money in exchange for us sending you money in return,” it said.

The CFPB says consumers receiving such calls should not provide any personal, consumer, or commercial information. Some of the calls may tell the consumer that if they can’t pay the taxes, the caller will find a sponsor who can. “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,” the CFPB warns. “We continue to stress that you should not provide any personal, consumer, or commercial information to the caller.

Anyone receiving suspicious calls related to the CFPB are directed to call the bureau directly at 877-411-CFPB and report them.