Consumer advice

Verizon Warns of Scammers Using its Name

If the thought of Verizon offering to pay you $750,000 sounds too good to be true, that's because it is.

Verizon Friday released a statement warning consumers to be on the lookout for shady letters telling them that they have won a special sweepstakes and that a firm named "Verizon Financial" has authorized a payment to them of $750,000. The letters tell consumers that in order to cash in on their prize, they first need to pay a "processing fee" of $3,200. The scammers also include a phony check written in the amount of $4,500 in each "winning" envelope.

The scammers recommend that the sweepstakes "winners" contact a "claims agent," who Verizon says will try to pry sensitive financial information from the consumer. The company says that it has no connection to any of the sweepstakes letters and recommends that consumers file a report with the United States Postal Inspection Service if they receive one of them.

The bogus Verizon sweepstakes letters aren't the only scam that has been conducted by Verizon impersonators in recent months. According to the Newnan Times Herald in Georgia, scammers claiming to be representatives of Verizon Wireless are calling residents and offering them a new free Verizon cell phone if they provide the caller with their Social Security number.

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