Scam Prevention and Awareness

By: Charlene Cristobal
July 24, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Congratulations! You've won a million dollars! But, before we can give it to you, you have to send us $20. Scams like this and multiple others are happening more frequently. That's why when one of our viewers almost fell for it, she called us to warn others.

"They look real, and you would think they were real," says Tallahassee resident Cheryl G. She told us that Wednesday, she received two letters in the mail claiming she had won millions. However, she knew better than to believe it.

"One of them told me to send $20 for application, to put me in the system so that my check could be cut," Cheryl says. "It looks like, it really looks like government paper. You would think that you're getting something from the government. It's just a blessing that I've been taught and that I know. I hear of different scams and I knew this was one of them."

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website features the "Little Black Book of Scams." It tells you about all the different types of scams and how to protect yourself. The biggest thing to remember is to never give out your credit card information.

And Cheryl's advice, "Ignore it, get rid of it. Don't try to send something, hoping that you're gonna get something back. The only think you're gonna get is broke and tears."

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says that if you've been a victim to a scam, there is a way you could get your money back. They say something as simple as filing a claim could help them, help you. Last month, they were able to return more than $600,000 to people in Florida who were victims of scams.

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