By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — People fall victim to scams every day and now experts say those victims may be more likely to get scammed a second time. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan tells us about the “Sucker List”.
Roger Brink thought he’d hit the jackpot after receiving a letter claiming to be from Publisher’s Clearing House promising a car and $850,000 in cash. When he called to claim his prize the operator said he needed to send her $6,000 on a prepaid card to cover expenses. He sent in his money but the winnings never arrived because it was all a scam. Brink says, “They kept saying at 3 o’clock today you’ll have everything – well they didn’t and I don’t.”
What’s even worse Brink could be targeted by scammers again. “Because there are lists of people it’s called a suckers list,” says Sally Greenberg, Director of the National Consumers League. According to Greenberg the list is created by con artists overseas. She says, “They make billions of dollars scamming consumers around the world and they trade information.”
One piece of information they trade – the names of people who’ve fallen for previous scams. Greenberg says, “The fraudster will call the previous victim and say you I know you lost $10,000, for a mere $1,000 dollars we’re going to help you get all that money back. And that should be a red flag that is yet again another scam.”
Scams involving sweepstakes are very common but Publisher’s Clearing House says it never asks winners to pay to claim a prize. Unfortunately, Brink learned that lesson the hard way.
The elderly are often repeatedly targets of scams and often are put on these sucker lists. If you have an older family member or friend that has been victimized in the past you really need to pay close attention so that they don’t get scammed again.