New email, text message scams hit V.I.
Published: September 3, 2012
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The V.I. Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs is warning residents that new text message and email scams that are circulating throughout the territory.
The first scam claims that your cell phone number has been randomly selected by a powerball database cash draw promotion and that you have won $1.2 million U.S. dollars. It lists a claim reference number of D8M and gives a fictitious email address, email@example.com, to get more information about the prize.
Residents should disregard the text and refrain from replying to the sender, whether by text, email or telephone call, according to a statement the DLCA issued Friday.
The second scam is an email from an individual claiming to be Mrs. Evelyn McGregor, Publicity Secretary of Heineken Beer Regional Branch in the UK. The email claims that your email address was randomly selected through Heineken's computer ballot system and that you have won 400,000 Great British pounds from a sweepstakes held on Aug. 3. The email says the promotion is part of the financial empowerment program of the Heineken Company London UK in its desire to reward customers worldwide.
This particular scam requires the recipient to contact an individual claiming to be Ms. Jessica Christopher in the UK at 447-031-740-789 and provide her with personal information, including your full name, address, age, sex, nationality, telephone numbers, marital status, and occupation. It also provides a PIN which purportedly is specifically assigned to the recipient and must be provided in every email sent to them.
Residents should not to turn over any personal information to either one of these scams, the DLCA advises.
In general, the rule of thumb is to not provide your personal information to companies or individuals with whom you are unfamiliar, according to the DLCA. Scam artists can utilize basic personal information to gain access to bank accounts, credit cards and commit identity theft.
Residents should not fall for offers that promise money without having to do anything, specifically unsolicited offers from overseas that indicate you were randomly selected for a prize, according to DLCA.
Anyone who has received solicitation of any kind and may have questions about its legitimacy or would like to file a complaint, can contact the DLCA at 774-3130 in the St. Thomas-St. John District or 773-2226 on St. Croix.