Thursday, June 19, 2008

Watch out for phone scam using Wal-Mart's name

The Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado is warning local residents not to fall for a new phone scam that uses the Wal-Mart name. According to the BBB, someone who identifies himself as "Victor Vasquez" and claiming to represent “Wal-Mart Computer Systems” has called area consumers to tell them they've won a second prize of $9.8 million in a Wal-Mart sweepstakes. To claim their winnings, consumers are told to pay an insurance fee of $1,600 via Western Union, which "Victor" says would pay the cost of shipping the prize via United Parcel Serve and having it delivered by a U.S. Marshal. In one case, the insistent "Victor" suggested a consumer obtain a loan or borrow money to send him the money. The BBB says “Victor” actually is a con artist calling from Jamaica and the Wal-Mart name is being used fraudulently to lend credibility to the scheme. Wal-Mart is not running a sweepstakes or using the name Wal-Mart Computer Systems, according to the BBB. To protect themselves, consumers should remember that legitimate lotteries and sweepstakes don't charge insurance or processing fees to claim prizes. Also, don't fall for the use of familiar names, such as Wal-Mart. If in doubt, consumers should ask for contact information and verify it with a reputable source. And, never send money to strangers using a money transfer service. More information: 636-1155 or

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