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Kelly Schmidt: It’s a scam, it’s always going to be a scam

By Staff | Jul 7, 2017

loud, “It’s a scam.” It is always going to be a scam. It’s too good to be true and you are not a winner. As negative as this all sounds, it’s true! Recently the Attorney General launched a statement about the sweepstakes scam going on and our mature North Dakota readers are the most vulnerable. I again feel compelled to address the topic of scams to protect you and your financial interests. As the Treasurer, I often talk publically about the “People’s Money.” I am referring to tax payer’s dollars. More importantly, I like discussing how you can keep more of your own money and protect what is rightfully yours.

For those of you who have been reading my columns this year, I have talked a lot about financial scams. These include phone and direct mail scams. Offers that look and sound so real that they have to be true when sadly, they are not. These scams breach your trust, hurt your pride and eventually take your money. Yes, your hard earned dollars!

I am here to remind you again to beware of direct mail pieces that say you have won and all you need to do is send money or give a credit card number. Beware of phone solicitations that say you are a winner and to expedite the winnings, all you need to do is pay the $300 processing fee and they will send the check. Please, don’t do it. Not ever! It is just like playing bingo downtown. It doesn’t cost you anything to get your prize money if you are a winner. Someone recently said to me that if you get one of those calls saying you are a winner, tell the caller to deduct the fees they are asking for from the total winnings and send you the difference in a check. Tell the caller that should be an easy thing to do. I guarantee the caller will hang up on you!

One last word of caution! The IRS never, ever, ever calls. They will send you a letter, so do not answer that call!

As the Treasurer, I care about your financial security! If at any time you think you are actually a winner and want to validate the source of the winnings, call the Office of the State Treasurer. Celebrating a big win with you would make my day spectacular!

To learn more visit our website at www.nd.gov/treasurer to find financial literacy resources and detailed fiscal information regarding our State. Be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for current information relating to your dollars and our office.

– Submitted via the ND Newspaper Association

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