Here’s a few more ways to know if your “award winning” phone call or letter might be a scam.
■ Your notice was mailed by bulk rate. It’s not likely you’ve won a big prize if your notification was mailed by bulk rate. Other people got the same notice too.
Check the postmark on the envelope or postcard. Do you even remember entering? If not, odds are you didn’t. Don’t be fooled by official-looking advertisements. It’s not necessarily legitimate just because the envelope is marked urgent and the contents look impressive.
Although many scammers send letters congratulating you on your winnings, pop-ups and emails are becoming more common among scammers.
■ You have to attend a sales meeting to win. If you agree to attend, you’re likely to endure a high-pressure sales pitch. In fact, any pressure to act now before you miss out on a prize is a sign of a scam.
■ You get a call out of the blue though you’re on the do-not-call registry. After you register your phone number for free, unwanted telemarketing calls should stop within 30 days. Unless the company falls under one of the exemptions listed on the FTC website, they should not be calling: It’s illegal.
If you think you have been targeted by a prize scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftc.gov/complaint. Your complaint can help protect other people. By filing a complaint, you can help the FTC’s investigators identify the scammers and stop them before they can get someone’s hard-earned money. It really makes a difference.
You can also sign up for scam alerts or file complaints with various agencies at https://www.ftc.gov/subscribe, https://www.usa.gov/state-consumer/nevada and https://callforaction.org. If the prize promotion came in the mail, report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at https://www.uspis.gov/report.
Nov. 28. Petty theft: The caller believes a wallet might have been inadvertently left on a shelf near an interesting item and returns to find it missing at 1:44 p.m. in the 800 block of Buchanan Boulevard.
Suspicious: The homeowner logs in to the cameras at home and sees a suspicious person trying to enter the front door of the home at 5:17 p.m. in the 800 block of Lake Hill Drive.
Thought for the day: The wallet is located and returned after another customer remembers some important details of a possible suspect.
Nov. 29. Destruction of property: Workers arrive to damage done to a gate and fence near the area of Arizona Street and Avenue M.
Family disturbance: Yelling is heard from inside the residence, and the neighbors are worried at 10 a.m. in the 700 block of Elm Street.
Thought for the day: The resident assures officers that he is just upset and yelling at himself in hopes it will help him remember next time.
Nov. 30. Suspicious: The pickup is parked in a strange location and partially blocking a sidewalk at 9:03 a.m. in the area of Avenue A and Cottonwood Street.
Shots: Several callers report the sounds of possible shots nearby, and they even know the caliber at 4:40 p.m. in the 900 block of Keys Drive.
Thought for the day: The party is surprised when officers arrive in the middle of whacking a pinata and popping balloons.
Dec. 1. Assist other agency: Officers are called to assist with a multiple vehicle-accident while the Nevada Highway Patrol gets the details at 3:09 p.m. at mile marker 50 on U.S. Highway 95.
Vehicle theft: The motorcycle is a sport cycle style and white over blue in color 3:48 p.m. in the 1000 block of Cummings Drive.
Thought for the day: Soon, the Nevada Highway Patrol might have an office nearby to help increase presence in the area.
Dec. 2. Vandalism: Two parks, Oasis and Bicentennial, fall victim to vandalism at 9:46 a.m.
Welfare: A family member reaches out to have a welfare check after their calls are not returned at 8:07 p.m. in the 500 block of Fir Street.
Thought for the day: Vandalizing public property results in a loss of use for all residents. If you see something, say something.
Dec. 3. Suspicious: A resident is surprised by an unfamiliar vehicle parked on the property and a subject appearing behind a nearby residence at 5:30 a.m. in the 600 block of Sixth Street.
Theft: The Amazon package shows as delivered but is missing when the resident looks outside to retrieve it at 11:36 a.m. in the 800 block of Avenue B.
Thought for the day: Have a neighbor receive packages or make alternate delivery arrangements, if possible.
Dec. 4. Traffic hazard: The truck is partially out into the roadway, but it’s the other subject’s behavior that is of most concern at 1:59 p.m. in the 1200 block of Arizona Street.
Assist other department: Officers are called to help the NHP with a vehicle vs. a wall crash at 2:11 p.m. in the area of mile marker 12 on Interstate 11.
Thought for the day: A vehicle stops in the middle of the lane as the driver consults a GPS in his lap; a tap of the officer’s horn results in an obscene gesture out the window. After a “re-education” and warrant discovery, the driver isn’t quite so indignant.
Call of the week: Family disturbance: The entire family is in an uproar over who will prepare the yearly family meal. One subject is locked in the restroom, one slept in an outside vehicle, and one feels targeted by the family discord. The outcome is one celebrating elsewhere and everyone else feeling very unthankful on Nov. 28 at 11:09 a.m. in the 600 block of Mount Blackburn Lane.
Tina Ransom is a dispatcher with Boulder City Police Department. She is coordinator of the Boulder City Citizen’s Academy.