How would you like to win a prize from Amazon, perhaps a free pair of $150 Apple AirPods?
It's a scam, and an expensive one, as one Cincinnati man just learned.
Brian Hunt of Westwood buys electronics from Amazon, so he was excited to receive a text saying: "Congratulations, Brian, you came in second place in the March Amazon raffle."
"I received a text message that I thought was from Amazon, telling me there was a giveaway, a sweepstakes," he explained. "I was going to get a free pair of AirPods. All I had to do was pay for shipping."
The link went to a page that looked exactly like Amazon and asked for a credit card for shipping.
"Indeed, they were only asking for the shipping fee, which I think was $6," he said.
What can happen if you click
But a few days later, he received a pair of cheap imitation AirPods and a $100 charge to his credit card.
"They charged me $6 for shipping, but then it was $99.50 a couple of days later," he said.
The Better Business Bureau is issuing a warning about this Amazon text scam after hundreds of recent complaints nationwide.
The BBB's Sara Kemerer says Amazon is not holding any sweepstakes or raffle.
"These sweepstakes scams, they use text messages, phone calls, social media, and email to sell the scam," she said.
Kemerer says these texts are designed to get money from you, or worse.
"These people will just charge to your bank account, and ultimately it can lead to identity theft," she said.
Brian Hunt is not sure how they got his name and cell number. He wishes he had asked some questions first.
"Obviously it had nothing to do with Amazon," he said.
Remember: If you win a sweepstakes, you win. Whether it's an Amazon contest, Publisher's Clearing House, or some other company, there should never be a fee to collect your winnings.
You should never have to give a credit or debit card. Keep that in mind, so you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
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