CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has warned West Virginians to be aware of a unique scam that is “profiling” consumers to later set them up for future scams.
“Once again, scammers are finding a new, deceptive way to gather information on local consumers so they may scam them later on,” Morrisey said in a press release. “In these instances, callers do not ask for money or personal information, rather they ask more general questions about the consumer’s financial history, such as recent purchases, loans, or investments.
"Our office always urges consumers to do their homework before ever surrendering any personal information to callers or people online.”
Morrisey said callers in this scam inform consumers they are eligible for an unclaimed prize or lottery. Then, the scammers ask the consumers to pick some numbers to see if they have won.
Later, the scammer calls back to let the consumers know they have won the lottery prize. However, instead of asking for money or private banking information to cover taxes or fees associated with the prize, the scammers instead build “profiles” of the citizens by asking them general financial questions.
“As with most scams, consumers should be alerted when they receive a random call about a too-good-to-be-true prize or a sweepstakes you don’t remember entering,” Morrisey said. “Even though the typical red flags are not obvious in this type of scam, these callers may be trying to pry information from honest West Virginians in order to take advantage of them later.”
Morrisey's office asks that consumers who have received one of these calls to contact his Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808.