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BBB report shows lottery and sweepstakes scams still common, elderly often targeted

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Hundreds of thousands of people are falling for old-fashioned sweepstakes and lottery scams and the Better Business Bureau is trying to get the word out. 

"They said 'Congratulations Mr. Walker, you've just won the Jamaican sweepstakes,'" scam victim Allen Walker told CBS 58 News. 

A new report from the BBB says over the last three years almost half a million people have been taken in by messages like that on the phone or online. 

Often the victims are elderly, but not always. Wisconsin BBB President Jim Temmer says the scammers have a seductive message. 

"They say that you know you won an award but you have to pay for taxes or you have to send us money for registration fee or whatever it is and then it ends up being more money and more money there's never any reward, there's never any won money," said Jim Temmer with BBB Wisconsin. 

"Well, I really felt kind of empty inside and ridiculous that I got beat like that," said Walker. 

And that's part of the problem. Temmer says many times, victims are embarrassed and don't want to report the scam, but he urges people to contact the Better Business Bureau right away.  

Of course, remember three key words -- Don't Send Money. 

See below for the full BBB study: 

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