Another nefarious way to part Drumheller area residents from their hard earned cash is making the rounds and it's preying on supporters of the STARS medivac helicopters.
Someone is contacting people to say they have won a cash prize of $125,000 plus a new car. The hitch is you have to send them money to cover expenses.
"If you are a winner, you would receive a letter in the mail as a confirmation: some winners are called, usually the grand prize winners, but everybody is given a letter in the mail to confirm your wins," explained Fatima Kawaja from STARS. "Second, if you're being asked for any kind of payment or money in exchange for the delivery of the prize, it 100 per cent is going to be a scam."
"Scammers have been known to use STARS and other charities: you see that with Westjet, CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) and other charities, they're manipulating people by falsely claiming they've won, asking them to send payment," she outlined. "With folks like yourselves helping us to spread the word, a little bit of vigilance can help keep the public safe."
STARS in Alberta is holding its annual spring lottery right now, which is why Kawaja thinks the scammers are using their name, but no prizes have been awarded as yet.
"We do hear back from people: they'll call the lottery number (1-888-880-0992) or they'll email [email protected], so it's heartening to hear that people are catching on," remarked Kawaja. "They're checking with us directly, so here's hoping that people are smartening up to these types of scams."