Sweepstakes scam tops scams that took more than $1 million from Hoosiers this year


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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – This year, Hoosiers lost more than $1 million from scams, and the worst culprit was the Sweepstakes/Lottery scam.

The Attorney General’s Office reports taking 828 calls for some kind of a sweepstakes scam. A total of 19 victims lost a collective $356,200.

Thieves have also been calling people claiming to work for the Internal Revenue Service and threatening to pursue legal action if they don’t pay their alleged debts.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office reports receiving 4,654 calls about the IRS scam, with at least six people reporting they lost a collective $65,135.

The IRS scam ranked number one on the Better Business Bureau’s top ten list of scams nationwide.

“The IRS, obviously, has a lot of power and so people think hey I owe them money, I better pay attention to this,” explained BBB President Tim Maniscalo. “The scammers know that and they’re trying to use that to really scare you and intimidate you that way.

“Just be on your game in terms of thinking about ‘why would someone want this information? And should I really be giving them my credit card information?”

Here’s the BBB’s list of the top ten scams that fooled the nation:

  • Tax Scams (24%)
  • Debt Collections (8.3%)
  • Sweepstakes/Prizes/Gifts (8%)
  • Tech Support (6%)
  • Government Grant (5.7%)
  • Advanced Fee Loan (3.8%)
  • Credit Cards (3%)
  • Work from Home (2.6%)
  • Fake Check/Money Order (2.4%)
  • Lottery (2.4%)

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